Dealers not first in line for pedal remedy


News reports indicated Toyota would not send the replacement accelerator pedal systems to dealerships, but rather to factories producing the affected models.

The Associated Press said Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons confirmed the news that factories would be first to get the parts, leaving dealers and the overflow of customers to wait for repairs.

Lyons said that is how the company normally distributes parts.

The pedal fiasco has prompted the recall of 4.2 million vehicles across North America and millions more in Europe and China. The situation has also leveled a serious blow to the companies sterling reputation for producing safe and quality vehicles.

Toyota, which announced it had an approved replacement for the pedals late Thursday, said it should take about a month to make all the repairs, now affecting eight U.S. models and over 270,000 vehicles in Canada.

Lyons told the Associated Press the automaker did not send the parts to the dealers because it has yet to decided whether the accelerator systems need to be replaced or simply repaired.

“We're not ready to launch this program yet,” Lyons wrote in a email to the news agency.

In his first public comment on the massive recall, Toyota president and CEO, Akio Toyoda apologized to customers.

“I am deeply sorry,” Toyoda said in a short interview with a Japanese media outlet. The grandson of the company’s founder gave the interview in Switzerland where he was attending an economic conference.

- Look for full coverage of the Toyota recall and how it has affected Canadian dealers in the next issue of Canadian AutoWorld -