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U.S. demands recall info; Toyota to idle production

WASHINGTON - The Transportation Department Tuesday demanded documents related to Toyota's massive recalls in the United States to find out whether the automaker acted swiftly enough.

Toyota, meanwhile, said it will idle production temporarily at Texas and Kentucky plants over concerns the recalls could lead to big stockpiles of unsold vehicles.

The legal documents demand that Toyota tell the government when and how the company learned of the safety defects in millions of vehicles over the entrapment of gas pedals by floor mats and sticky accelerators.

The documents were delivered to Toyota Tuesday, and it must respond within 30 to 60 days or face fines.

The intensifying government investigation of Toyota and production halts at its plants represented another sign of the ripple effect the recall of 8.5 million vehicles has had.

The world's No. 1 automaker faces probes by the Obama administration and Congress as it struggles to maintain its loyal customer base.

Company spokesman Mike Goss said the Texas plant, which builds the Tundra pickup truck, would take production breaks for the weeks of March 15 and April 12.

The Kentucky plant, which makes the Camry, Avalon and Venza vehicles, plans to take a non-production day on Feb. 26 and may not build vehicles on three more days in March and April. - AP

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