Pedal Fix in Works, Toyota Turns to Image

Toyota said Sunday that it's closer to solving the accelerator pedal problem that's forced more than 7 million recalls worldwide and federal regulators have signed off on the plan, but as CBS News correspondent Manuel Gallegus reports, the Japanese auto giant is anxious to repair not only its vehicles but its image as well.

At the auto show in Washington, DC this weekend, shiny new Toyotas are still a draw. Ken Wasch was looking at the new highlander SUV.

"This problem with the gas pedal is a little bit of bad luck on the part of Toyota, and it could happen to any manufacturer," Wasch said.

Three months ago, after numerous complaints, Toyota announced floor mats could trap the gas pedal in 5.4 million of its vehicles. Then, 10 days ago, the company warned that the gas pedals in another 2.3 million cars and trucks - might stick. More than 2 million vehicles had both problems.

Read more about the Toyota recall at CBSNews.com:

Gov't OK's Toyota Gas Pedal Fix
Toyota Sending New Pedals to Factories
Toyota Recall Costing the Automaker Dearly
Toyota to Announce Fix for Gas Pedals
Evening News: Toyota Recall Fuels Confusion, Anger
Toyota Part-Maker: Fix Is in the Works
Ford Stops Some China Vehicle Production
Toyota Part-Maker Gets Unwanted Spotlight
Toyota Took Short Cuts in Drive to Top
Toyota's Massive Recall Snowballs
Toyota Recalls 1M More Vehicles
Toyota Recall Not Result of Simple Glitch
Experts say the possibility that a Toyota could suddenly accelerate out of control is small.

"I've had no indication of a problem, and should there be one, I'll shift into neutral and try and be careful," Toyota owner Marshall Schay said.

Toyota now says condensation build-up is the cause for the sticky gas pedals and it will soon have a plan to get replacement parts to its 1,200 American dealers.

"The one answer that we don't have right now is, 'How quickly can i get my car fixed?'" said Cody Lusk, president of the American International Automobile Dealers Association.

Five of Toyota's seven North American vehicle production plants will be fully or partially shut down for one week starting Monday - two in Indiana, one in Texas, another in Ontario, Canada, and the largest plant, in Kentucky, where the best-selling Camry is made. About half of Toyota's North American production force - 10,000 workers - will be idle.

"This is going to hurt them, there's no doubt about it," said Joe Wiesenfelder, senior editor of Cars.com. "It will shake the confidence of some consumers, maybe even owners, in the quality issue."
  • Manuel Gallegus

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