Dublin Toyota staying open for repairs in wake of massive recall

British paper reports massive Prius recall coming this week

It's been a trying time for auto giant Toyota and specifically, local dealerships who are tasked with replacing parts in vehicles as part of a massive recall announced late last month and the suspension of sales on affected models.

At Dublin Toyota, general manager Lance Tenwolde said the dealership is doing everything it can to assist customers in replacing accelerator pedals, which were the subject of the recall, and said to possibly stick, leading to runaway acceleration.

Dublin Toyota and other dealers are also facing a global recall of the Prius — the hybrid electric car which has become the leader of the green motoring revolution.

The Times of London reports this morning that in a deepening of the crisis at the world's largest car manufacturer, Toyota will this week warn 300,000 Prius owners — 3,500 of them in the UK — that the brakes on their car may fail in icy conditions or on bumpy surfaces.

"The news follows hard on last month's recall of 8 million Toyotas over fears of accelerator pedal defects in several models," the Times reports. "In Britain, the owners of 180,000 Toyotas have been told that their cars may have problems which lawyers in the U.S. claim have led to 19 deaths."

Already, before the latest Prius warning, Dublin Toyota has been working late into th night to repair possibly faulty accelerators.

"We have extended hours already, but the way we're looking at this, if we have people waiting, we're going to continue through the night," he said Thursday afternoon. "We're already open until 10 o'clock at night anyway."

The dealership received its first shipments of the replacement pedals five days ago. Workers there are also repairing models listed in an earlier Toyota recall where floor mats can possible interfere with the pedals.

"Unfortunately we just ran out of parts again, so we're waiting for Toyota to ship us some more," Tenwolde said, adding that he's asking customers for their patience.

Toyota first announced the recall Jan. 21, affecting 2.3 million vehicles: 2009 and 2010 Matrixes, 2005-2010 Avalons, 2007-2010 Tundras, 2008-2010 Sequoias, 2010 Highlanders; and certain 2007-2010 Camrys, 2009-2010 RAV4s and 2009-2010 Corollas. Last Friday, the auto manufacturer suspended sales of those models.

"It was about 30 percent of our inventory overall," Tenwolde said. "Since then, I think we've already repaired most of the Corollas, so I think we're almost back in business with the pedals, just not the floor mat issue."

Tenwolde acknowledged the recall has taken its toll on sales, but said no company is immune to recalls and Toyota has a solid reputation.

"I've been with Toyota for 23 years, so this is kind of a first for us, something of this caliber," he said. "But Toyota, every time they have a situation where they've run into a recall, they've done a really good job with it. I don't think they'll let the public down now."

Detailed information and answers to questions about the recall are available at or by calling a customer service line set up specifically for the recall, 1-800-331-4331.

Toyota said in the event the accelerator pedal sticks, the vehicle can be controlled by firmly pumping and pressing the brakes. The brakes should not be pumped repeatedly because it could deplete vacuum assist, according to Toyota, requiring stronger brake pedal pressure. The vehicle should be driven to the nearest safe location, the engine shut off and a Toyota dealer contacted for assistance.

Separate from the sticking pedals, Toyota has also recalled vehicle models which may have floor mats that can trap the gas pedal. That recall was announced Nov. 25 and affects the following Lexus and Toyota models: 2007-2010 Camry, 2005-2010 Avalon, 2004-2009 Prius, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Tundra, 2007-2010 ES 350, 2006-2010 IS 250 and 2006-2010 IS 350.

-Janet Pelletier

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Like this comment
Posted by Toyota Owner
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Another unaddressed Toyota problem is with the ECU (the computer brain of the car}. While driving mine went out, basically stopping the car, luckily I wasn't on the freeway. I later found out this is a common problem.

Like this comment
Posted by Prius Owner
a resident of another community
on Feb 4, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I absolutely love my 2007 Prius!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Toyota owner- Camry
a resident of Downtown
on Feb 4, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I think that it is ridiculous that they told me at the dealership that I have to wait for a "Recall Letter" to fix my car that is on the recall list...

Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 4, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Eh...thats what happens when you change your focus from being the no. 1 quality automaker to being the no 1. automaker in volume.

Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 5, 2010 at 9:35 am

1) Ford is now rated higher in quality than Toyota and a number of their models are rated #1 in quality.
2) The jobless rate in this country is the highest in decades.
3) Our balance of trade is just horrible.
3) Toyota, and resultingly its suppliers, are laying of thousands of people in the Bay Area.
Isn't this a great time for new car buyers to give serious consideration to buying a Ford?
P. S. I have no ties to Ford whatsoever. However, the 4 Explorers I have owned, all driven over 100k miles, rarely saw the shop for anything but maintenance. I can't say that about the Toyotas, Hondas or Nissans that I have owned.

Like this comment
Posted by RS
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 5, 2010 at 12:25 pm

I called Dublin Toyota yesterday got an appointment next wednesday it will take 1 1/2 to 5 hours to fix and they were wonderful to work with. The experience was great. However I agree we should all start buying Fords I cannot buy a Government auto, I have always owned General Motors but no matter what they turn out I will never buy another. When the government hurt the Bond holders in favor of the union and changed the rules. THAT FINISHED ME WITH GENERAL MOTORS.

Like this comment
Posted by Sally
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Feb 6, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Buy an American car??? Never again. I have had 2: a Dodge, and a Ford. My Dodge barely made it to 80000 miles. My FORD (Explorer) transmission blew at 67000. I also have had a Camry (which is still on the road with 180000) and a Tundra which is at 150000. So a recall happened, and yes I do think Toyota handled the whole thing wrong. However, one thing to keep in mind is that the reason why so many cars are being affected by this recall is because most cars on the road are Toyotas. And why is that? Why aren't people buying American cars? I love my Toyotas!

Like this comment
Posted by Willis
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 6, 2010 at 9:21 pm

My old 1988 Camry still on the road at 300,000+ miles. with its 2nd owner
My 2001 Tundra stil running like new at 120,00+ miles. Just sold it
Now own a 2010 Tundra and loving it.
I too am peeved by Toyotas slow response, but mine is going in Wed also for its fix, hopefully this will be the last. The know how to build a car that lasts.

Like this comment
Posted by Lisa
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 9, 2010 at 11:46 pm

I have a Mitsubishi that has over 300,000 miles on it.
I have an Acura(honda) with 150,000 miles.
I have owned Toyotas that were still going strong after 200,000 miles. The resale value is unbeatable.
I had a Saturn , that if I traded it in my payment would have been higher on my Acura when I purchased it because the Saturn lost its resale value so quickly.
A way....they don't have that "fix or repair daily" acronym for nothing.
My husband is an auto mechanic....he won't let me buy a

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