Toyota dealers were only told of the recall of 3.8 million vehicles after the public got wind of it first. That's certainly a recipe for confusion as retailers everywhere scrambled with responding to customers without having had the benefit of preparing for it first. The recall came about as a result of incidents of sudden acceleration the most gruesome of which was the crash two months ago that caused the deaths of an off-duty California Highway Patrol officer and his family.
Their ´09 Lexus ES 350, on loan from a local Lexus dealer, reached speeds of 120 mph (193 km/h) before going over a roadway barrier and into the upward slope of a riverbed. Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. was late in informing the dealers given the severity of the situation, says Toyota spokesman Bryan Lyons.
Earl Stewart, owner of Earl Stewart Toyota of North Palm Bay, Fla., said that this situation is both confusing and embarrassing. Bob Moran, owner of Acton Toyota in Littleton, MA, laments the fact that the public got notified first and the dealers have to deal with ringing phones.
Toyota said that dealers will be trained and receive the necessary components to trim three-quarters of an inch off the accelerator pedals. Furthermore, dealers will receive instructions on how to reconfigure floors in the Toyota ´07-´10 Camry, ´05-´10 Avalon and ´07-'10 Lexus ES, says spokesman John Hanson. He noted that all models affected by the recall eventually will be eligible for footwell modifications.