Local Toyota dealership sees good in recall

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - If you look at them, you can see the difference.

"The CTS pedal is going to be recognized by this silver plate that's right here," says General Sales Manager Brian Tidwell at Reinhardt Toyota in Montgomery.

Tidwell holds up two different gas pedals.  There is nothing wrong with one of them, but the other is bringing a lot more traffic to Toyota dealerships around the country.

As the recent recall to deal with what some refer to as "the sticky pedal" affects 8.5 million Toyota cars globally, it's putting some dealerships in a sticky position with customers and packed service centers.

"It raises concern," says one Enterprise resident now reluctant to purchase Toyota.

"It's been hectic. There's been a lot of phone calls," says Tidwell.

Despite the hype, he says he is looking at the recalls' positive impact.

"It's helped us refocus on our customers.  Because our customers are now calling us, and we've refocused on customer satisfaction," he says.

Tidwell says they've extended the service center's hours to repair more than 500 gas pedals.

"If someone feels their pedal may be sticking, they need to stop by and we'll inspect it and make sure it's safe to drive," he adds.

While sales are decreasing nationally for the auto-maker, managers at Reinhardt say they're not seeing as much of a problem.  And despite Toyota's troubles, they say having a strong reputation in Montgomery is making all the difference.

"Reinhardt's been here for 70 years, and Toyota's been part of that for 40 of those years. So Toyota and Reinhardt are part of this community."

Tidwell says sales are on track this month and customers are in their corner--both good signs for the dealership.

Toyota's President now says he will appear before Congress for a public grilling on the recalls.

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