Archive for Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Transportation secretary says Toyota drivers should seek repairs; Lawrence dealer awaiting recall details

Steve Newton, a Toyota Master Diagnostic Service Technician, installs a shim, a piece of steel about the size of a postage stamp, into the gas pedal assembly of a Toyota Avalon in Dubuque, Iowa.

Steve Newton, a Toyota Master Diagnostic Service Technician, installs a shim, a piece of steel about the size of a postage stamp, into the gas pedal assembly of a Toyota Avalon in Dubuque, Iowa.

February 3, 2010, 10:11 a.m. Updated February 3, 2010, 1:10 p.m.


On the street

Do you think Toyota’s recent problems will help boost sales of American cars?

Yes, it will, because people will jump to the conclusion that Toyota is bad.

More responses

Toyota recalls may be fixable

Toyota dealers may have found a way to fix millions of cars that were recently recalled. The problem people were having involved an acceleration pedal that was sticking. Enlarge video

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is advising owners of recalled Toyotas to take them “to a Toyota dealer because they believe they have a fix for it.”

At Crown Toyota in Lawrence, officials are busy working to sort through the logistics of the safety-spurred recall, which affects some 2.3 million vehicles in the United States. The recall is intended to prevent problems with accelerator pedals sticking.

Earlier this week, Crown President Miles Schnaer said his dealership was doing all it could to help affected customers deal with the recall. As of Monday evening, Crown had not yet received repair kits, ones now said to be making their way to dealerships.

Wednesday morning, Crown was still awaiting details from Toyota.

“We haven’t gotten all the information,” said Dale Backs, Crown general manager.

As Toyota faces questions in Washington about the source of the safety problems and the company’s handling of the recall — LaHood made his comments during a meeting of the House Appropriations subcommittee on transportation — Toyota also is working to help its dealers preserve and win back customers’ trust.

Dealers will be receiving payments from the manufacturer to help deal with the recall.

“Within the next several days, you will receive a check from us (no strings attached) with a simple request - ‘do the right thing on behalf of Toyota customers’,” Toyota group vice president Bob Carter said in the letter to dealers that was sent late Tuesday and obtained by The Associated Press.

Carter thanks dealers for extending service hours and providing car washes and other services. He also suggested other measures, such as making additional hires to help with recall repairs, providing mobile repair services, establishing dedicated recall service lanes and offering complimentary oil changes.

“Toyota dealers already know the first and most critical step of rebuilding the confidence and trust of Toyota owners is the interaction and service they receive in your dealership,” Carter said.

Toyota is sending checks this week based on the number of cars each dealer sold last year. Dealers who sold fewer than 500 cars will get $7,500. Dealers who sold more than 4,000 will get $75,000. Toyota has around 1,200 U.S. dealers.

Carter said Toyota is considering other marketing efforts to win back customers’ confidence, but he didn’t elaborate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


gatekeeper 8 years, 2 months ago

What a loser you are moocher. The govt bailed out GM and Chrylser, not Toyota. What a sad little world you must live in, feeling the need to blame Obama for everything. I'm not thrilled with everything Obama has and hasn't done, but am adult enough to not use him as a punching bag for a defect caused by something he has nothing to do with. If you have a complaint about something he is involved with, then comment about it on a story about Obama.

Stuart Evans 8 years, 2 months ago

why is it that Obama has surrounded himself with people who misspeak so much. it seems that every single day one of his administration are having to resign, apologize or restate something they really meant. it just goes to show what an inexperienced administration this is.

matchbox81 8 years, 2 months ago

AreUNorml: if major portions of our daily speech were recorded and posted on major television and news outlets with the ability to end our career, I'm sure we'd be apologizing and backtracking just as much. Be they politicans (republicans or democrats) or high level bureaucrats, it's tough to try to do an important job with the overly-attentive peanut gallery arguing that every misspoke phrase should result in someone being fired.

headdoctor 8 years, 2 months ago

It is pretty easy to figure out the ilk and intelligence of any poster who wants to continually blame Obama for the sun not appearing in the Eastern sky to suite them or those that want to keep handing over everything the corporations as if they have been so wonderful to this Country and are the answer to our salvation. ( Extremely large Face Palm).

The modern so called conservative right wing Republicans: A very good argument for why stupid people should not be allowed to vote.

Centerville 8 years, 2 months ago

The connection is that Zippy's car companies are even further down the tubes and Zippy's market competition, Ford and Toyota, are getting bashed by Zip's tax-paid spokesmen.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 2 months ago

"WASHINGTON — Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told Toyota owners Wednesday they should stop driving their vehicles, then quickly took back his words, adding to confusion over the safety of millions of recalled cars. Toyota, for its part, tried to reassure drivers that sticky gas pedals have been rare – and the cars can be stopped in any event by firmly stepping on the brakes. The final word from LaHood: "What I meant to say or what I thought I said was, if you own one of these cars or if you're in doubt, take it to the dealer and they're going to fix it."" I thought Biden was in charge of making dumb statements and then retracting them

Steve Jacob 8 years, 2 months ago

"LaHood told the Associated Press in an interview that Toyota was "a little safety deaf." He said last week that the automaker would not have recalled its vehicles had federal safety officials not pushed for it."

The government forced Toyota into the recall in the first place. After I heard this, it's hard to believe anything coming from Toyota. I keep thinking about "Fight Club". Was is cheaper to pay out of court settlements then this recall? I bet it was, until the government stepped in.

bad_dog 8 years, 2 months ago

Honda is recalling ~ 650,000 of their Fit models due to a risk of fire.

For the record lawrenceguy, many of Toyotas vehicles (including most Camrys and other recalled models) are entirely manufactured and assembled in the U.S. by Americans-not that domestic jobs are important or anything...

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

We've been driving Toyotas for the past 30 years. This incident does not bother me.

Not only that only a few models are connected to the problem.

Remember when Ford Explorers kept rolling over due in part to the tires they kept installing until Ford was forced to do something about it. GM and Chrysler also have had wayyyyyy more problems.

Liberty275 8 years, 2 months ago

With toyota sending the dealer a nice check to "do whats right", maybe now would be a good time to complain to the dealer about your toyota engine that blew up at 80,000 miles because of the sludge. Squeaky wheel and all.

Go Chevy! Boogity Boogity Boogity! And Subaru too!

If you just need a reliable point a to point b car, get a honda.

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