Good news for local Toyota owners: Parts for vehicles subject to the nationwide recall are now in stock at Geweke Toyota on Beckman Road. Employees of the dealership are urging customers to make an appointment so their vehicles can be serviced in a timely and organized manner.
Although it has been a hectic week already for Guy Anderson, fixed operations director, and Kyle Stewart, service manager of Geweke Auto Group, they sat down with the Lodi News-Sentinel on Wednesday to discuss the massive Toyota recall and the steps they are taking to ensure the safety of Toyota owners.
Q: When will parts for the recalled vehicles arrive at Geweke Toyota?
Anderson: They arrived (Wednesday). We received 175 parts and are ready to move forward. There are seven different sizes, and installing each one will be a little different. We have enough parts to meet initial demand, and we will reorder them as needed.
Q: There are two separate recalls for Toyota. Can you help clarify how it works?
Stewart: There is a recall for the sticking accelerator as well as one for obstructive floor mats. The recall for the sticking accelerator has been launched now. The recall for the floor mat obstruction will be phased-in. For the obstructive floor mat recall, the accelerator pedal will be reshaped to eliminate the risk of floor mat entrapment. Toyota will contact the owners of the vehicles with floor mat obstructions.
Q: How can a customer go about getting their recalled vehicle serviced?
Stewart: We highly recommend that people make an appointment. They can call or book online.
There are three ways customers can make an appointment:
- Call the toll-free number 800-300-1388.
- Call the dealership at 371-2300.
- Go online to www.geweke-toyota.com, go to the service page and request an appointment.
Q: How long will the repair take?
Stewart: For the sticking pedal, the repair should take about 30 minutes, but processing and paperwork will add time to the wait. The repairs of the floor mat obstruction will take upwards of two hours. Certain vehicles will need both repairs done on them, but the sticking accelerator repair recall is being done right now. For cars that would have both repairs done at once, we estimate about three hours from start to finish for the repair time.
Q: Some Toyota dealerships are extending hours or staying open around the clock to meet the demand of repairs. Will Geweke Toyota be doing this as well? For instance, will you be open Sundays?
Anderson: Sundays are not going to be a day we do; our associates should have one day with their families. We have contingency plans for demand, but we have to see what that demand will be.
We will have technicians working extended hours, but not the service department. If you bring your vehicle in before we close, our technicians can work on it after we are closed, but there will be no one in the service department to do the filing and paperwork. It will be ready in the morning.
Toyota models included in sticking accelerator recallCertain 2009-10 RAV4
Certain 2009-10 Corolla
Certain 2007-10 Camry
Certain 2010 Highlander
Toyota models included in obstructive floor mat remodel2005-10 Avalon
Q: When will all the recalled vehicles in your inventory be ready for sale again?
Stewart: We will address our inventory vehicles immediately. However, we will not put them in front of customer vehicles. Sixty of our vehicles are affected. We should have 80 percent of them repaired and ready for sale by Friday night.
Q: What was your reaction when Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Wednesday that Toyota drivers should stop driving their vehicles?
Anderson: He said he misspoke. I thought he would probably retract that, which he did. He retracted and said people should take their vehicles in.
Q: General Motors has been running advertisements with the slogan, "May the best car win." While these ads started before the Toyota recall, do you think American carmakers are using this recall to rebuild their image at Toyota's expense?
Anderson: Ford has taken the high road through all of this. They are standing on their own merits and offer great products and service. Everyone has recalls. Ours is just the biggest right now.
Q: On Wednesday, news agencies were reporting that brakes on the Toyota Prius have been the subject of more than 100 complaints to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration for having inadequate and irregular braking on certain roads and surfaces. What can you say to that?
Stewart: The situation is currently in an investigative state, and Toyota won't share anything with the dealers at this time.