The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

Business

January 28, 2010

Dealers swamped by worried Toyota drivers

NEW YORK (AP) — Toyota dealers across the country were swamped with calls Wednesday from concerned drivers but had few answers a day after the company announced it would stop selling and building eight models because of faulty gas pedals.

Toyota insisted the problem — sudden, uncontrolled acceleration — was “rare and infrequent” and said dealers should deal with customers “on a case-by-case basis.” But drivers of Toyotas and those who share the road with them were left with uncertainty.

In an unprecedented move, the company said late Tuesday it would halt sales for the eight models — which make up more than half of Toyota’s U.S. sales volume — to fix the gas pedals. Last week, Toyota issued a recall for the same eight models, affecting 2.3 million vehicles.

A private firm said it had identified 275 crashes and 18 deaths because of sudden, uncontrollable acceleration in Toyotas since 1999.

In North Palm Beach, Fla., Clare Roden showed up at a Toyota dealership worried about the 2010 Camry she purchased recently. She was relieved when she was told her accelerator was not a problem part.

“I didn’t want to get out on I-95 because people are not very safe drivers there anyway,” Roden said as she waited in the lobby while mechanics checked her car. “I wanted to get it down here as soon as possible.”

The dealership owner, Earl Stewart, said about half his cars are affected by the recall, a huge hit to business. He said customers had been flocking in with concerns about the accelerator on all of the models. He sent some home with loaners.

“They’re very frightened,” he said. “Many people are concerned their accelerator pedal is going to stick and they’re going to be involved in an accident.”

At Walser Toyota in Bloomington, Minn., owner Doug Sprinthall took calls all day Wednesday from people wanting to know if cars they once thought were dependable were affected by the freeze. He didn’t have much to tell them.

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    January 28, 2010

  • Dealers swamped by worried Toyota drivers NEW YORK (AP) — Toyota dealers across the country were swamped with calls Wednesday from concerned drivers but had few answers a day after the company announced it would stop selling and building eight models because of faulty gas pedals.

    Toyota insisted the problem — sudden, uncontrolled acceleration — was “rare and infrequent” and said dealers should deal with customers “on a case-by-case basis.” But drivers of Toyotas and those who share the road with them were left with uncertainty.

    In an unprecedented move, the company said late Tuesday it would halt sales for the eight models — which make up more than half of Toyota’s U.S. sales volume — to fix the gas pedals. Last week, Toyota issued a recall for the same eight models, affecting 2.3 million vehicles.

    A private firm said it had identified 275 crashes and 18 deaths because of sudden, uncontrollable acceleration in Toyotas since 1999.

    In North Palm Beach, Fla., Clare Roden showed up at a Toyota dealership worried about the 2010 Camry she purchased recently. She was relieved when she was told her accelerator was not a problem part.

    January 28, 2010

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