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Toyota recall hits home

Press Photo by Lisa Call Austyn Gackle, a technician at Dan Porter Motors in Dickinson, repairs an accelerator pedal Saturday afternoon on a Toyota Camry from Montana that was part of a recent massive recall.

After a massive Toyota vehicle safety recall, the only authorized Toyota dealership between Bismarck and Billings, Mont., has temporarily been working Saturdays to fix recall issues.

Toyota recently issued two major safety recalls worldwide, both concerning accelerator pedals.

The first recall, dubbed "Floor Mat Entrapment," regards the potential for an unsecured or incompatible driver's floor mat to interfere with the accelerator pedal, causing it to possibly stick in the wide-open position, according to Toyota's Web site.

The second recall addresses the possibility of certain accelerator pedals sticking in a partially depressed position.

Les Bentz, manager at Dan Porter Motors in Dickinson, the only Toyota dealership in the area, said while the recall applies to several models including the Avalon, Corolla, Camry, Highlander, Sequoia, Matrix, RAV4, Prius and Tundra, whether or not a vehicle is affected depends on the vehicle identification number.

Some vehicles were built with an American-made pedal, while others were made with a Japanese pedal, which is why the identifying factor is the vehicle identification number.

Toyota said CTS Corp. of Elkhart, Ind., manufactured the faulty pedals, according to The Associated Press.

"Unfortunately it's the American-made pedal," Bentz said. "Everything that's Japanese is good to go."

To prevent the pedal sticking, a reinforcement bar is being added, Bentz said.

Some models, such as the Camry, need a shortening of the gas pedal to help prevent floor-mat entrapment.

Some dealerships across the country have been working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to fix the affected vehicles, Bentz said.

Toyota announced on Wednesday it is repairing about 50,000 vehicles per day, according to the AP.

Bentz said from what he has gathered, most people have been fairly calm about the recall.

"I've actually had some customers that don't want their car fixed," Bentz said. "The customers around here, so far, have been absolutely fantastic. I think we have a lot more common sense in this part of the country."

On Saturday, the dealership fixed recall issues on three cars from Montana.

"You can take your car to any Toyota dealership," Bentz said. "I had a gentleman that had bought his Toyota Tundra two days before in Texas and came up here and on his way up here heard about the recall."

Chris Kelly, sales manager at Dan Porter Motors, said the recall hasn't noticeably affected sales.

"People around here have been real decent about it," Kelly said. "We haven't had anybody who's been too freaked out about anything."

On Tuesday, Toyota added about 440,000 Prius and other hybrids to the recall list, bringing the global total to about 8.5 million vehicles, according to the AP.

Affected models

While the Toyota recall is only applicable for certain vehicle identification numbers, it spans the following makes and year of manufacture:

Avalon: 2005-2010

Corolla: 2009-2010

Camry: 2007-2010

Highlander: 2010

Sequoia: 2008-2010

Matrix: 2009-2010

RAV4: 2009-2010

Tundra: 2007-2010

Tacoma: 2005-2010

VENZA: 2009-2010

To determine if a vehicle falls under the accelerator pedal or floor-mat entrapment recall, or for more information, have the VIN number available and visit