New Toyota dealership opens despite recalls

February 1, 2010 12:15:43 PM PST
A new Toyota dealership is opening in Oakland, on the same day the company announced its plan for fixing the gas pedal systems.

According to the people at One Toyota in Oakland, later this week the parts will arrive and even though the dealership officially opens for business this afternoon, the mechanics are ready to take care of the problem that has caused 19 deaths so far.

Toyota announced on Monday morning it has identified the problem with the sticking accelerators and with the approval of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is shipping the replacement mechanism to dealerships nationwide.

That includes Toyota One in Oakland, where they are ready to service some of the two million customers in the United States who own recalled Toyotas.

"From what we understand we'll have parts by the end of the week, and by the end of the week our staff will be trained to execute those repairs professionally for the customer," One Toyota owner Brian McCafferty said. "And if the customer would like to set up an inspection on the vehicle, they can bring that in anytime for an inspection or they could even go online or call us."

One Toyota customer, who brought his 2007 Siena in for an oil change this morning, is surprised by the recall by the world's number one selling car maker, but still loyal to the Toyota brand.

"This is the first time that this happened to Toyota, and I think that Honda is very happy about that," Toyota customer Alex Batac said.

And Toyota officials have become less happy when they are asked about an alleged cover-up of the sometimes fatal sticking accelerator problem first reported in March of 2007, according to government documents.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the only reason Toyota is doing the recall is because His agency asked them to following a fatal crash in September.

It's a big deal, but one that will pass from the headlines and McCafferty intends to be still in business when it blows over.

"On the surface, today may seem an ironic day to open a Toyota dealership, but we really feel in the long run that we are going to be a valued part of this community," he said.

The pedal recall is a separate recall from the floor mats issue that involves more than four million cars.