By Kelsey Mays on February 10, 2010
Since repairs began Feb. 5, Toyota dealers have retrofitted some 220,000 models recalled for sticky accelerator pedals with the thumb-sized reinforcements, Toyota division manager Bob Carter told reporters today at the Chicago Auto Show.
Toyota dealers are moving at full capacity, Carter said, with some service bays staying open 24 hours a day. Across the country, the automaker’s dealers are installing pedal reinforcements at a rate of 50,000 a day, Carter said. With 2.3 million cars across eight models recalled, at the current pace it would take a little less than a month and a half for Toyota to complete the recall.
A typical dealership has a half-dozen or more service bays, and Toyota says the retrofit takes about 30 minutes per car. There are some 1,230 Toyota dealerships across the country. One fellow journalist showed me a cell phone picture he took of the service lanes at a California Toyota dealership near his house. It’s jam-packed with cars, he said, and his photo proved it.
“Is [the dealership recall process] at 100 percent capacity?” Toyota spokesman Greg Thome said. “I guess not, in the sense that every dealer is not 24/7. ... But to say they’re not doing 24/7 isn’t to say they’re not doing everything for their customers.”
Still, additional recalls — from the existing floormat entrapment recall to Tuesday’s brake software update for the Prius and Lexus HS 250h hybrids — are sure to squeeze the service capacity.
Senior Consumer Affairs Editor Kelsey Mays likes quality, reliability, safety and practicality. But he also likes a fair price. Email Kelsey