Auto dealer Brandon Steven is trying to weather Toyota's massive recall this week by offering affected customers free rental cars.
"If it's a bad pedal, we'll put you in a rental," Steven, managing partner of Eddy's Toyota, said Thursday. "We're paying for it."
Steven said his Toyota dealership, 7333 E. Kellogg, has been flooded with "hundreds of calls" from Toyota owners about the Japanese automaker's recall of 2.4 million cars and trucks, including Camrys and Tundras. They are equipped with a gas pedal that Toyota said "in rare instances" could stick when depressed.
As of Thursday morning, Steven said his dealership had about 20 Toyotas affected by the recall turned in by customers.
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He said Eddy's had run out of loaner cars for customers and began renting cars for them.
"Make the customers comfortable and happy," was the advice given to him by a regional Toyota official earlier this week, Steven said.
The recall has affected Eddy's business, Steven said, though he added that the dealership sold six Toyotas on Wednesday.
"Sure it's impacting our business a little bit, but it's going to be short-term," he said.
The recall encompasses eight models and several different years: 2009-2010 RAV4, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2005-2010 Avalon, certain 2007-2010 Camrys, the 2010 Highlander except the hybrid, 2007-2010 Tundra and 2008-2010 Sequoia.
The recall, which Toyota made voluntarily, also prompted the automaker to suspend sales and temporarily stop production of the affected models at five of its North American plants.
The recall doesn't affect 10 other Toyota models, including the Camry hybrid, nor does it affect its Lexus and Scion brand vehicles.
Steven said of the 320 Toyotas he has on the lot, 119 of them are affected by the recall.
The recall concerns the gas pedals made by supplier CTS Corp. of Indiana.
CTS officials said Thursday that they have ramped up production at three factories to manufacture redesigned pedals. The pedals are meant to solve problems with condensation that Toyota has said can cause them to react slowly when a driver steps on the gas.
CTS says it is also working with Toyota to find a potentially quicker repair for vehicles already on the road.
Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons said his company has not decided if the new pedals will go to dealers or factories.
Toyota also has not decided whether it will repair the defective pedals or replace them. Toyota engineers are working on ways to fix the pedals, he said.
Lyons said the company's No. 1 priority is figuring out how to repair the largest number of vehicles in the shortest amount of time.
Steven said he's looking forward to a resolution soon.
"Next week," he said. "That's what we're hoping."