• Kyodo

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Toyota Motor Corp.’s new car sales in the United States grew only slightly in May after a series of recalls, while overall new car sales in the market continued to surge, a U.S. research firm said Wednesday.

Sales by all automakers in the United States came to 1,102,899 units in the reporting month, up 19.1 percent and the seventh consecutive year-on-year increase. In April, sales jumped 19.8 percent, Autodata Corp. said.

For Toyota, however, sales rose only 6.7 percent to 162,813 units in May. Toyota began recalling 2.21 million vehicles on Jan. 21 and suspended sales of eight popular models, including the Camry and Corolla, from the last week of January through early February to address sticky gas pedals.

The top automaker then briefly stopped selling two sport utility models in April and filed a recall in May for its upscale Lexus LS.

In May, Toyota stayed third in sales among automakers in the United States, behind General Motors Co., which chalked up a 17.5 percent gain in sales to 223,410 units, and Ford Motor Co., which saw sales jump 23.4 percent to 192,012 units.

Chrysler Group LLC, another of the original Big Three automakers, saw sales jump 32.7 percent to 104,819 units in May, putting it in fifth, Autodata said.

The combined sales of the Big Three rose 22.5 percent to 520,241 units, giving them a 47.2 percent share of the U.S. new-car market, up from 45.0 percent in April, the research firm said.

Among other Japanese carmakers, sales climbed 19.1 percent to 117,173 units for Honda Motor Co., making it fourth-largest in the U.S.

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