UPDATE 1-Rental operators remove Toyota cars from fleet

DETROIT Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:56pm EST

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DETROIT Jan 27 (Reuters) - Major U.S. auto rental operators said on Wednesday they are removing from their rental fleets all Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) vehicles affected by a massive safety recall.

Enterprise Holdings, the largest U.S. rental operator, said it will keep the eight Toyota vehicle models subject to a safety recall due to faulty accelerator pedals out of its North American rental fleet until the situation is resolved.

The affected vehicles represent about 4 percent of the fleet of Alamo Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental brands, owned and operated by Enterprise Holdings, the company said.

"The safety of our customers is our number one concern," said Matt Darrah, executive vice president of Enterprise North America. Enterprise also suspended sales of its used Toyota vehicles.

Avis Budget Group Inc CAR.N, which runs Avis and Budget rental brands, also said it was removing all of its approximately 20,000 vehicles that Toyota has identified for recall from its fleet in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Avis said Toyota represents only a small percentage of its overall fleet and the company expected to meet all projected customer demand.

The moves came a day after Toyota announced plans to suspend sales of some of its best-selling vehicles and temporarily halt production of the models. [ID:nN26229890]

Representatives at Hertz (HTZ.N) were not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Soyoung Kim; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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