Toyota Hawaii dealers begin fixing faulty gas pedals - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Toyota Hawaii dealers begin fixing faulty gas pedals

Thor Toma Thor Toma
Mark Fukunaga Mark Fukunaga

By Duane Shimogawa bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Safety. That's what Hawaii Toyota dealers say comes first after a massive nationwide recall of some of its vehicles, all involving sticky gas pedals.

On Saturday, the company began the repairs. There have been no confirmed reports of accidents in Hawaii involving sticking gas pedals, but three cases have popped up involving what customers say are "odd-feeling" gas pedals.

Toyota officials say they're ready to fix this problem, extending their hours and going to an around-the-clock schedule.

"Today we're going to be doing a live demonstration of the actual repair of the pedal assembly," Servco Pacific Toyota director of service Thor Toma said.

And so it begins. Toyota Hawaii estimates a quarter of its inventory needs pedal replacements.

The re-called vehicles include Corolla, Matrix, Avalon, Camry, Highlander, Rav-4, Tundra, and Sequoia.

"Their entire livelihood is on the line and they're getting an incredible amount of scrutiny right now," Servco Pacific Toyota chairman and CEO Mark Fukunaga said.

Toyota Hawaii officials say 8,000 vehicles here are affected by this recall. So far they've fixed just over a hundred of them.

The problem involves friction levels. This gives you the feel of a pedal.

"Excess friction, that's what causes the sticking," Toma said.

To fix that, mechanics install the correct-sized reinforcement bar.

Then they test it to make sure there's no excess friction. They also test it electronically with the car's computer system. Toyota says the entire repair process takes about an hour and they recommend customers make an appointment before coming in. A few customers already stopped in on this first day of repairs.

"Like with anything else though, you don't want to take a chance, you never know when it'll happen, so might as well take advantage of the efforts they're putting forward," Customer Stephanie Miyasaki said.

Toyota says people should feel confident in its vehicles.

"I think the one thing they know is that they don't have any second chances, so they're absolutely sure that they're going to have a good repair," Fukunaga said.

Toyota is also investigating problems with its Prius models sold since last January. Some owners have noticed issues with its anti-lock brake system.

About 400 vehicles in Hawaii may be affected, but so far, no re-call has been issued.

To learn more about this and the current recall, go to

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