Toyota of Albany reacts to nationwide recall and halted sales -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Toyota of Albany reacts to nationwide recall and halted sales

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) –  The Toyota you're driving could be dangerous. A stunning recall is affecting south Georgia dealers. After complaints about gas pedals that stick the world's number one automaker recalled 2.3 million vehicles and stopped sales and production on numerous models

At Toyota of Albany cars covered under the recall now have HOLD written on the windshield in white.  Those vehicles won't be sold until the parts are replaced and they aren't sure yet how long that will take.

Lauri Wendland drives a 2010 Toyota Sequoia.

"I have four children so of course I don't want anything to happen," she said.

She's never had a problem with her SUV and says the news doesn't change her loyalty to the brand.

"We're going to get it checked out and hopefully its fine, if not we'll have them take care of it, said Wendland.

Her vehicle is one of eight Toyota models affected by the action to suspend sales and halt production lines to deal with complaints of sticking accelerator pedals.

'09-'10 RAV4         '05-'10 Avalon
'09-'10 Corolla      '10 Highlander 
'07-'10 Camry       '07-'10 Tundra
'09-'10 Matrix        '08-'10 Sequoia

At Toyota of Albany, one-third of the vehicles are marked HOLD until the problem is fixed.

"They have a fix. It just has to be approved. It's a small item so they can produce 250,000 a day so in just a few days they can get them in the car, get them fixed and go on. General Manager Alan Murphy knows the recall and halt in sales may hurt business for a short period of time, but he feels confident sales will not suffer in the long run.

"We had a customer come in this morning who wanted a Camry, one of the effected ones. So we sold it to her and rented them a car to drive until it gets fixed," said Murphy.  He also says out of 22 million Toyotas on the road, only 50 complaints are being investigated.

"In 9 years of all the Toyotas we've sold and serviced we've never had a complaint about acceleration," said Murphy.

But If you're a costumer who has a complaint, Toyota says they'll take care it.

"If you find it sticking, push down on the break and stop. If you feel unsafe, call you're local dealer and we'll come out and check it out," said Murphy.

And for at least one customer, satisfaction remains the same.

"They're taking responsibility for what they think could be a problem. There may not be one but if it is they're taking care of it and I think they're handling it the right way," said Wendland.

Toyota still hopes to sell 6% more vehicles this year than in 2009. A reachable goal if customers like her stay loyal and the faulty parts get replaced quickly.

The GM tells says there are two different gas pedals used in Toyotas. Only one of those is sparking the complaints. That's why some Toyota Camry's have the HOLD mark and others don't.

The sticking accelerator recall is separate from a recent recall of 4.2-million vehicles because of problems with gas pedals becoming trapped under floor mats. That problem caused crashes and fatalities.

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