WISCONSINREPORT.COM (03/01/2010) - Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. has announced that Toyota will be extending on a nationwide basis the additional services being provided to Toyota and Lexus customers in New York affected by the recent Toyota recalls. The services involve sticking accelerator pedals, floor mat pedal entrapment, anti-lock brake system software updates, and Tacoma front drive shaft inspection. Toyota says additional services are being provided to customers concerned about driving their vehicle before the repair is completed.
The company explains that the added services will be tailored to the owner’s individual circumstances. They may include:
1. Expediting scheduling of the repair.
2. Pick up and return of the vehicle by a dealership representative.
3. Driving the customer to the dealership or to his or her place of work.
4. Where necessary, providing other alternate transportation for the customer, such as a rental car, loaner vehicle, or taxi reimbursement for the reasonable period that the customer is unable or unwilling to use his or her car.
"Our 172,000 team members and dealers across North America are continuing to go above and beyond to ensure the safety and satisfaction of all of our customers," said Jim Lentz, president and chief operating officer of Toyota Motors Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Services will be provided by Toyota through the dealers at no cost to either the owners of affected vehicles or dealers.
The Toyota organization says reimbursement of these expenses is separate from the stipends of $7,500 to $75,000 that the company already has provided to dealers in connection with the recalls.
Detailed information and answers to questions about issues related to these recalls are available to customers at www.toyota.com/recall and at the Toyota Customer Experience Center at 1-800-331-4331 or the Lexus Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-255-3987.
Meanwhile, the company has indicated that various media reports have recently mischaracterized a 2005 privileged legal memo, recently subpoenaed by Congress, as dealing with sudden unintended acceleration. However, Toyota claims the words "unintended acceleration" or "sudden acceleration" and "sudden unintended acceleration" appear nowhere in the memo.
According to the company, the lawsuit that is discussed in the memo, Greenberg vs. Toyota Motor Sales, et al, was focused on transmission hesitation and shifting, not sudden acceleration.
As Mr. Greenberg stated in his complaint filed with the U.S. District Court in the Central District of California:
"Drivers expecting to feel their car accelerate when they depress the gas pedal have been shocked to discover that, in certain driving conditions, their car does nothing for roughly 1.5 seconds. While this hesitation sounds insignificant, it is an eternity for drivers expecting the conventional acceleration displayed by other vehicles," Greenburg stated.
Mr. Greenberg does not allege in his lawsuit that he had experienced sudden unintended acceleration, a Toyota spokesperson says. The spokesperson asserts that the only reference to sudden unintended acceleration in Mr. Greenberg's entire 40-page complaint is a short paragraph referencing unrelated reports of alleged sudden acceleration incidents. The complaint lists questions "common" to all alleged class action members, and that list mentions only throttle hesitation, not unintended acceleration.
Mr. Greenberg's case was dismissed by the courts before going to trial.
The spokesperson says the countermeasures Toyota undertook at this time related to efforts to achieve greater customer satisfaction with smoother shifting between gears in the automatic transmission, not unintended acceleration, as has been reported in some media outlets.