Carson Toyota dealer to extend hours | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson Toyota dealer to extend hours

BRIAN DUGGAN
bduggan@nevadaappeal.com

Carson City Toyota owner Dick Campagni said Wednesday that his dealership will extend the service department’s hours to accommodate fixes for the eight Toyota models recalled for faulty accelerators.

He said the fix takes about a half hour.

“They’re going to notify all of the customers that could possibly have the cars that are in the recall,” Campagni said. “Those customers will come to us, we’ll check it and then we’ll fix it.”

There will be no charge to customers, he said.

He said about 50 of the 256 Toyotas on his lot were among those recalled, but did not know how many Carson City customers may be affected.

“We’re just going to do it as long as we have to, because our customers are very important to us,” he said, adding he did not foresee any business problems as a result of the recalls.

Campagni said he would wait for more information before setting service department hours.

Meanwhile, at a congressional hearing on Wednes-day, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said his advice to an owner of a recalled Toyota would be to “stop driving it. Take it to a Toyota dealer because they believe they have a fix for it.”

His comments prompted new questions and rattled Toyota stockholders, causing shares to plunge 8 percent before they recovered, declining 6 percent for the day.

LaHood later told reporters, “What I said in there was obviously a misstatement. What I meant to say … was if you own one of these cars or if you’re in doubt, take it to the dealer and they’re going to fix it.”

Campagni said LaHood’s statement during the congressional hearing was “shocking” and “ridiculous.”

“I just think that it’s absolutely amazing that somebody could make such an outlandish statement,” Campagni said. “I think the good thing is the retraction helps us a lot. It shows that we’re on the right track.”

Adding to Toyota’s woes, LaHood said his department had received new complaints about electronics and would undertake a broad review, looking beyond Toyota vehicles, into whether automobile engines could be disrupted by electromagnetic interference caused by power lines or other sources.

Toyota has said it investigated for electronic problems and failed to find a single case pointing that direction.

Toyota Motor Corp., in a statement, said if owners were experiencing problems with the accelerator pedal “please contact your dealer without delay. If you are not experiencing any issues with your pedal, we are confident that your vehicle is safe to drive.”

Since October, Toyota first recalled about 5 million vehicles over problems with floor mats trapping gas pedals and now, in a recall announced Jan. 21, some 2.3 million vehicles amid concerns that gas pedals could become stuck or slow to return to the idle position.

• The Associated Press Contributed to this report.