GM Tries to Lure Wary Toyota Owners

The 2007 Toyota Camry is shown at the North American International Auto Show in a Detroit file photo from Jan. 9, 2006. The redesigned Toyota Camry, the hottest-selling car in America, is the winner of Motor Trend Magazine's 2007 Car of the Year award. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
AP Photo
General Motors is offering interest-free loans and other incentives to Toyota owners who may want to get rid of their cars due to fears about faulty gas pedals.

GM General Manager of Retail Sales Steve Hill said Wednesday the company is responding to thousands of inquiries from Toyota owners.

The Detroit automaker is offering offer zero percent financing for 60 months on most models. It also will offer $1,000 to Toyota owners toward a down payment on a GM vehicle and up to $1,000 to help to pay off current leases early. The offers run through the end of February.

The world's largest car maker on Wednesday suspended U.S. sales of eight models - including the Camry, America's top-selling car - to fix faulty gas pedals that could stick and cause acceleration without warning.

Last week, Toyota issued a U.S. recall for the same eight models, affecting 2.3 million vehicles, and on Thursday announced the recall of an additional 1.09 million vehicles in the U.S.

The Japanese automaker also extended the recall to Europe and China

In a statement, the company said it would directly communicate with European customers with vehicles that are affected by a problem with worn accelerator pedal mechanisms that may "stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position."

"Toyota is making every effort to address this situation for our customers as quickly as possible," it said.

The problem is rare, it said, and customers who are concerned should contact Toyota Customer Service for help before recall instructions are issued.

The company is already using different parts in models it is now producing in Europe and says it has "no need or intention to stop production in Europe," it said.

Toyota said a driver whose car is affected may notice that the pedal is harder to depress and slower to return.

"A rough or chattered feeling may also be experienced when depressing/releasing the accelerator pedal," Toyota said.