Toyota May Lengthen Warranties to Keep Customers

Published February 15, 2010

ORLANDO, Fla. – Toyota Motor Corp. may offer incentives or increase the length of its warranties as it tries to recover from an embarrassing string of safety-related recalls.

Group Vice President Bob Carter said the company has not decided exactly what it will do after it gets past the recalls, which include more than 8 million vehicles worldwide for sticky gas pedals, floor mats that can snag the accelerator and a software glitch in the brakes of its Prius gas-electric hybrid.

Carter told reporters at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention in Orlando, Fla., that it is focused on repairing customer cars and restoring their faith in the brand, which has had a reputation for bulletproof reliability for years.

Dealers, he said, have fixed more than 500,000 of the 2.3 million cars and trucks covered by the sticky gas pedal recall, and they are repairing about 50,000 cars every day.

He also said the company has only 13 reports of sticking pedals in the U.S. and Canada out of the 2.3 million cars and trucks involved in the pedal recall.

"This is a very, very, very rare occurrence," he said. "Please help us put some perspective on what's happening. Thirteen is too many, we've got to take care of this," he said.

Several dealers said customers have the mistaken impression they are not selling cars because of publicity about Toyota stopping sales of models in the pedal recall. Toyota suspended sales of some of the eight U.S.-made models covered by the recall until dealers could fix them.

But dealers are free to sell the cars once they are repaired. Carter says 88,000 of the 112,000 recalled cars on dealer lots have been repaired. He said the dealers have made customer repairs first, but have fixed their own cars during hours when customers are not seeking repairs.

Written by TOM KRISHER, AP Auto Writer

COMMENTS

Latest in news