Dealer ready to handle Toyota recalls

Co-owner not sure how many affected vehicles were sold in Juneau

Posted: Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The local Toyota dealership owner said the service center is ready to handle Juneau's portion of a massive manufacturer recall announced last week.

Additional staff or service hours were not anticipated to be needed as of Monday, but Steve Allwine, co-owner of Mendenhall Auto Center, said the dealership would do what was necessary to handle work required by the recall.

Allwine wasn't sure how many of affected vehicles were sold in Juneau.

Toyota Motor Sales announced a recall of millions of vehicles for sticky accelerator pedals on certain models. It was the largest recall in the industry since the Firestone tire recall 10 years ago.

The recall follows one by Toyota in November for floor mats becoming entrapped in pedals.

The company, which announced Friday that dealers nationwide received parts and are ready to handle the work, said vehicles affected by both recalls could be serviced at the same time.

The company also announced that it has begun mailing letters to owners of recalled vehicles to let them know when to bring their vehicles into a dealership. Owners will only receive a letter if their vehicle is involved in the recall.

Allwine suggested customers look for the letter or call the dealership with questions.

He dished out praise for the way the company has handled both customers and dealers, saying he didn't expect the recall to impact Toyota's reputation.

Allwine said he's seen plenty of recalls among various manufacturers in his career in car sales.

"I've seen this weathered with Chrysler or Ford, and the list goes on. We're always concerned about manufacturer reputations in this circumstance," he said. "But based on what I see in the background with Toyota, it's an outstanding company and they'll get through this."

The cost of work is covered by the manufacturer and takes about 30 minutes to complete.

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