Toyota recalls more vehicles, 15 thousand more Hawaii customers affected

Rick Ching
Rick Ching
Duane Chang
Duane Chang

By Teri Okita – bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Tough times for Toyota. The company is expanding its recalls. More than two million vehicles are on the returns list. Toyota says it's the number one automaker in Hawaii - so how is this affecting customers and service?

Toyota has been down this recall road before. Pedal problems keep plaguing the automaker. Servco Pacific Automotive President Rick Ching says, "Our job is to try to complete the repairs as quickly as possible, and we have been extending hours and working extra hard in our service department to get the jobs done."

The company says parts of the floor carpeting around the gas pedal can potentially cause the accelerator to stick in the down position. Some of the brand models affected include the Lexus GS, LS, and RX, as well as the Toyota Highlander, Rav4, and 4Runner. It's best to check with Toyota to see if your vehicle's model and year match up with the ones in question. Dealers say it's an easy fix.

"It's relatively straightforward," says Ching. "The car has to come in, of course, and it could take an hour or two for actual repair time. Dealers say they'll be sending out letters about this latest recall next month, and repairs will be done at no cost to customers.

This latest announcement isn't a new problem - it's part of the existing recall that goes back two years. In that time, about 72 thousand Toyota vehicles in Hawaii have been recalled -15 thousand of those are involved in this latest round.

Rav4 owner, Mineko White, says her SUV drives just fine, but all the recalls have her thinking twice about Toyota. "I think my husband and I were talking about buying a new car in a few years, so maybe yes, maybe no," says White.

Despite the recall, the majority of customers we spoke with remain loyal to the brand. Duane Chang has owned his 4Runner since 1999. "As long as the company's willing to come out and say, "Hey, we have a problem" - that's kind of a good thing. Safety issues," says Chang.

National transportation officials have reviewed more than 400 thousand pages of Toyota documents. Last month, they cleared the company of acceleration problems caused by electronic flaws, and with this latest recall, they feel confident their investigation has come to the end of the road.

Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.