Toyota Set to Reveal a Gas-Pedal Fix Today
DETROIT - Questions surrounding Toyota's gas-pedal recall should become a lot clearer starting this morning as the automaker launches a public relations effort to quell owner fears and to explain what it will do to fix the vehicles and when.
Toyota plans to reveal details of the fix this morning, two dealers told the Associated Press, and one was told by a Toyota executive that parts could arrive Thursday or Friday. They asked not to be identified because the plan is not yet public.
Toyota reviewed its plan to fix sticky gas pedals - which led to a recall of more than 4 million vehicles worldwide - with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the weekend.
Toyota ran newspaper ads Sunday explaining that the production halt for the eight recalled models was a "temporary pause" to put drivers first. Jim Lentz, head of Toyota's U.S. sales unit, is scheduled to talk this morning on NBC's Today about plans to fix vehicles on the road.
The automaker needs to move fast, because bad news keeps coming: Consumer Reports has pulled its "recommended" rating on the recalled models until satisfied the problem is fixed, and Kelley Blue Book says resale values of affected models could fall 4 percent to 5 percent within the next six weeks.
Toyota customers peppered dealers with safety-related questions over the weekend. "They want to know if it's OK to drive vehicles," says John Milton, Internet sales manager at Toyota Sunnyvale (Calif.).
And some shoppers looked elsewhere. The recall dissuaded Dave Saunders, a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and his wife, Sue, from buying a Sienna over the weekend. "We were seriously considering it until the news broke," he says. "Now, we're going with another brand."