Local dealers fix hundreds of recalled Toyotas

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – This latest recall comes as local Toyota dealers scramble to fix a problem with the accelerator on thousands of vehicles. Some sellers are even extending their hours to deal with the recall.

We headed over to McGeorge Toyota in Henrico. They started working on recalled cars on Thursday and in just three work days have already fixed 250 vehicles.

If the line of cars outside McGeorge Toyota doesn't say it all, 30 year lead technician Robert Fields will.

"We're busy. We're busy! We're not overwhelmed," said Robert Fields. "We've got a lot of work."

Toyota manufacturers say the accelerator pedal in some models may stick and continue to accelerate. For Fields, it's the sheer volume of cars, needing repairs that are daunting. Toyota recalled more than 7 million vehicles worldwide. There are more than 10,000 cars in greater Richmond affected by the recall.

We took a trip into the service center to see exactly how it's done.

"This is the pedal. It's an electronic accelerator pedal. All the cars in the world use this now," Fields said.

He removes the pedal to install a reinforcement bar.

"That's the recall. That's the reinforcement bar," he said.

He places the pedal in a vice and in seconds installs the bar.

"It snaps into the place. You turn it over to make sure it's properly seated all the way back," Fields said.

The entire process takes about 30 minutes, and before a car goes back on the road. Fields hooks the pedal to a computer to make sure it's smoother and quicker.

"This isn't required. This is something we're doing as a dealership just to check and make sure that its functioning properly," he said.

There are only five Toyota dealerships in Richmond, and everyone is now working round the clock to keep up.

"Beginning Wednesday we're going to have two 12 hour shifts of factory trained technicians. Will be working overnight and during the day to satisfy the Toyota customer recall," said Nick Scola, McGeorge Toyota Scion.

One dealer even launched a website today devoted solely to the recall issues. To view that website, click the link posted to right of the article. Toyota is notifying customers in waves as not to overload the dealerships, so if you own a Toyota and haven't received word of the recall yet, you probably soon will.

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