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Local dealer repairing ‘sticky’ accelerator pedals

By Staff | Feb 6, 2010

Ft. Myers Toyota is prepared to operate on an a round-the-clock basis, seven days a week, in response to recent safety concerns over accelerator pedals and floor mats, but the demand for service has not yet called for it.
The Fort Myers store, located 2555 Colonial Blvd., received parts Wednesday in response to a “sticky” accelerator pedal recall announced Jan. 26. Certain makes and models are part of the recall, and Toyota owners are encouraged to call the store at 936-2520 or 938-2800 with their vehicle’s VIN.
According to prepared statements from Ft. Myers Toyota:
“The sticky pedal concern has to do with an issue involving a friction device in a CTS accelerator pedal. It is a gradual onset condition. On rare occasions, problems may arise due to the materials used, wear and environmental conditions. Friction in the pedal operation may cause it to slowly return to idle or, on rare occasions, stick in place.”
Those who encounter this problem should apply firm steady pressure to the brakes, put the vehicle in neutral and come to a safe stop off of the road. Do not remove the key from the ignition while the vehicle is moving as it will cause the steering wheel to lock, according to the statements.
Pamela Templeton, treasurer and partner of Ft. Myers Toyota, said the store has been servicing vehicles in response to the recall since Wednesday.
“It’s been a very smooth process,” she said, adding that the store has not had to remain open around the clock. “We haven’t had to do that because, unlike the hysteria that’s out there, our customers are coming in gradually.”
“We haven’t had an overabundance of parts or appointments,” she said.
As of Thursday afternoon, the store had serviced approximately 175 to 200 vehicles because of the recall. Templeton said it takes a technician about 30 minutes to service a vehicle, so Toyota customers should expect to wait for up to one hour. The store has 105 service bays and “sufficient staff.”
She added that if the demand for service increases, the store will expand its hours of operation.
“We are certainly willing to do so,” Templeton said.
Any Toyota owner is welcome to bring their vehicle to Ft. Myers Toyota — the vehicle did not have to be purchased at the store. Owners are only asked to call ahead to verify using their VIN that their vehicle is eligible for service under the recall.
“To make sure we have the proper equipment,” Templeton said, “because there is a difference between the different models and stuff.”
According to the statements, the sticky accelerator pedal recall is a separate issue from the floor mat/accelerator pedal interference issue announced in the fall. Toyota vehicle owners are urged to make sure that their floor mats are not interfering with their accelerator pedal.
The floor mat issue affects some of the 2004-10 Toyota models, Templeton reported. The potential exists for an unsecured or incompatible driver’s floor mat to move forward and bunch up, therefore interfering with the pedal.
She recommended the following:
— Do not use improper or aftermarket mats.
— Do not stack floor mats on top of each other.
— Do not flip the floor mat upside down.
— Make sure to use the clips designed to secure the model specific mats to the floorboard.
Templeton said the pedal modification service tied to the floor mat issue involves a technician reshaping the metal of the pedal.
“They’re shaving off the metal and that’s like a two-hour gig,” she said. “And that’s in response to people who will not use floor mats as intended.”
According to the statements, “Toyota has determined that this problem does not exist in vehicles in which the driver’s side floor mat is compatible with the vehicle and is properly secured.”
To learn more about the sticky accelerator pedal recall or the floor mat/pedal interference, visit online at www.FortMyers-ToyotaNews.com., www.FMToyota.com or www.Toyota.com. The National Toyota Customer toll-free telephone number is (800) 331-4331.