Thousands of local car owners, driving recalled Toyotas, are calling or getting into local dealerships to get the repair for defective gas pedals that may become stuck or slow.
At Mossy Toyota in Pacific Beach, employees answered phone calls from concerned customers. Staff said they had enough parts to repair about 50 cars Wednesday and that they’ll keep getting shipments every day until all repairs are made.
Sarah Goehring got to the dealership quickly for the repair. “With the extra cautionary recommendation from the Department of Transportation and those different things, it just prompted me to come in,” Goehring said. “ I have two little kids that ride in the back seat every day so I just couldn't take any chances.”
Toyota for the first time gave an estimate of the costs of the global gas-pedal recall Thursday. The $2 billion total represents $1.1 billion for repairs and $770 million to $880 million in lost sales.
Employees at Mossy Toyota said customers that are having problems or are very concerned would be handled first.
“Call us we'll make an appointment and get the car in, inspect the pedal but make sure that it's affected because remember, not all vehicles are affected,” said Dale Snow with Mossy Toyota.
Toyota dealerships all over the country are adding a small metal plate to gas pedals in more than two million affected models. The company says the fix will ease friction, stop the pedal from sticking and stop cars from accelerating after the drivers’ foot is lifted off the gas.
The repair, expected to take about 30 minutes, will mean extended hours at Kearny Mesa Toyota.
“We’re only able to book so many a day. We certainly are interested in taking care of as many customers as we can, as fast as we can,” said Brian Beerman. “But we want to do this right.”
The latest recall involves 2009-10 RAV4 crossovers, 2009-10 Corollas, 2009-10 Matrix hatchbacks, 2005-10 Avalons, 2007-10 Camrys, 2010 Highlander crossovers, 2007-10 Tundra pickups and 2008-10 Sequoia SUVs.
Once mechanics repair customer cars at Mossy Toyota, they'll fix the ones on the lot. That will allow them to start selling the cars again.
Toyota is expecting to lose 100,000 in vehicle sales because of the recall fallout -- 80,000 of them in North America.
Then, to add to the confusion for car owners and the woes of Toyota, the U.S. Transportation Department said Thursday it has opened an investigation into brake problems in the 2010 model year Prius. Toyota acknowledged that is has begun fixing problems with the brakes in its prized Prius, but remains undecided about a recall.