Local Toyota dealers say business still strong - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Local Toyota dealers say business still strong

By Philippe Djegal - email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - A rash of recalls is leaving auto-giant Toyota under fire. Wednesday, the president of the company declined an invitation to participate in congressional hearings next week investigating Toyota's safety standards.

Now, new concerns are rising about the safety of an already recalled model. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has fielded more than 100 complaints alleging 2009 and 2010 model Corollas steer improperly.

"They're doing an investigation," said Scott Reed, with Classic Toyota in Tyler. "If anything comes of it, that's a safety concern for the customers, they will strongly consider a recall."

The NHTSA goes through a three step process to determine whether or not auto-line warrants a recall.

"That's the customer complaints, an engineering investigation into the complaints and then if it truly deems to be a safety hazard issue for the customer safety, then a recall is considered," explained Reed.

Nationally, and international, the brand name Toyota may be taking a hit. But, locally, it is business as usual. Just a handful of East Texans have come into Classic Toyota seeking repairs on their Prius. As for the Corolla?

"We haven't had any come in the door asking about it," said Bill Tracy.

Reed says a few people have walked into the shop saying their Corolla drifts on the road.

"And, quite frankly, it ended up being a tire issue that upon replacement of the tires, the care handled in a normal function," said Reed.

Mechanic Charlie Martin at Bud Jones Garage in Tyler says Toyotas are usually reliable.

"None of our customers have complained about any problems like that, and we do have a lot of customers with Toyota," said Martin.

So far, all of Toyota's recalls have been voluntary. But, the number of recalled Toyota models word wide is 8.5 million and counting.

From the risk of unintended acceleration, to brake problems with both the 2009 and 2010 Prius, Toyota is now operating under a microscope.

Toyota recently announced that they will temporarily shut down two U.S. truck assembly plants in March and April. One of those plants is in San Antonio company officials say the temporary closures are to catch inventory back up with demand.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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