Toyota dealerships fix part on recalled vehicles

By David Spunt - bio | email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB/CBS) - Toyota dealerships around Metro Baton Rouge are taking steps to fix a potential gas pedal problem that led to a recent recall of 2.3 million vehicles in the U.S. and some of them even have the parts in place already to take care of the issue.

Toyota blames a sticky gas pedal for the recall, but company officials report actual cases of gas pedals sticking have been very minimal. Eight different Toyota models from different years were recalled because of a potentially dangerous gas pedal. Baton Rouge dealerships began installing a piece called a shim to fix the problem Wednesday.

Brent LeBlanc owns Price LeBlanc Toyota. He said the recall is voluntary, affecting only a few models of certain years. His service technicians spent the better part of the afternoon fixing the problem. Team Toyota service manager Ken Cox urges owners to not panic, but just be aware.

"Things have gone very smoothly and to roll out and to get the parts delivered to us and get us trained and producing a part quickly and in our hands and in the cars already today, pretty impressive," LeBlanc said. "If you do have a symptom occur, pressing the brake pedal will relieve those symptoms," Cox explained. "Both feet on the brake pedal, steady pressure, don't pump. Pull over to the side of the road and kill the key and you can put yourself in a safe situation."

The recall in the U.S. includes the 2009-10 Rav4 crossover, the 2009-10 Corolla, the 2009-10 Matrix hatchback, the 2005-10 Avalon, the 2007-10 Camry, the 2010 Highlander crossover, the 2007-10 Tundra pickup and the 2008-10 Sequoia SUV. It also has been expanded to another 1.9 million vehicles in Europe and China. Toyota added not all the models of Camry, Rav4, Corolla and Highlander listed in the recall have the faulty gas pedals, which were made by CTS Corp. of Elkhart, Indiana.

Dealers can tell which models have the CTS pedals. Models made in Japan and some models built in the U.S. have pedal systems made by another parts supplier, Denso Corp., which function well. All Matrix, Avalon, Tundra and Sequoia models covered by the recall have the faulty pedals. Etienne Plas, a spokesman for Toyota Motors Europe in Brussels, said the car maker would implement the same remedy for the sticky gas pedals in Europe, but he didn't know when.

"We will work as fast and as efficiently as possible in the U.S. and in Europe, but we have no precise details in Europe," he said. "I cannot tell you precisely when that is going to happen, but as fast as possible."

To schedule an appointment, call Price LeBlanc Toyota at 408-1100 or Team Toyota at 272-7799.

Copyright 2010 WAFB. All Rights Reserved.

CBS News contributed to this report.