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Customer Confusion: Drivers of Recalled Toyotas Frustrated and Concerned

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Filed under Automotive, Toyota, Video

The Internet is buzzing with an overload of information in regards to the recent Toyota recall for a sticky gas pedal. ABC news has chipped in to highlight stories shared by those confused consumers and owners of affected Toyota vehicles. Below is the ABC story by Kate Snow with an exclusive video report.

Jan. 28, 2010—

From Georgia to Michigan, Toyota dealers are overwhelmed. A problem with sticking gas pedals has forced the carmaker to recall some of its most popular models, and then they told dealers to stop selling eight models.

Millions of Toyota owners are now in the dark.

“We’ve got customers calling and they want to know what to do,” said dealer Steve Crane of Stone Mountain Toyota in Georgia. “As soon as we know what to do, we’re gonna tell them.”

At Page Toyota in Southfield, Michigan, it’s the same refrain. Owner Bob Page told ABC News, “We really don’t have a good answer for them now.”

Theresa Stevens just bought one of those recalled vehicles, a 2010 Toyota Highlander, and she wants answers.

“It’s a worry for me, and I am hoping that the situation will be resolved,” she said. “I am hoping I don’t have to give up this car because I really like it.”

Some dealers are inspecting cars, and others are sending customers home, telling them to call an 800 number. We tested out that corporate number and found that the automated message is out of date — it did not include cars that were recalled overnight.

After being hung up on once, we waited over half an hour for an operator who didn’t have many answers. When asked what a customer should do if they have a car that’s affected by the recall, the Toyota representative said, “Umm… you should be expecting some information in the mail soon about what to do next.”

About a million people have gone to Toyota’s Web site looking for information. The company tells people if they have a sticking accelerator, it can be controlled with a few steps: “STEPPING ON THE BRAKE — DO NOT PUMP — SHIFT THE TRANSMISSION INTO NEUTRAL.”

Practicing Safe Driving

Toyota owner Joe Bosch has been practicing those steps in his 2009 Corolla. “I hit the break, put it in neutral,” he said. “but I wouldn’t want it to happen on the highway.”

Despite the nervousness, we did find some loyal drivers today. Customer Ladonna Lewis told us, “It’s a quality product.”

But confused customers do wish Toyota would send a letter to car owners, explaining what exactly is going on.

Copyright © 2010 ABC News Internet Ventures

[source: ABC News]


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