Techs working OT to handle Toyota recall

Senior Master Toyota Technician Leroy Brown fixes an accelerator at Western Slope Ford.

Western Slope Auto service technicians are working nights, Saturdays and even their days off to install new parts on the hundreds of Toyota cars and trucks sold by the Grand Junction dealership and now being recalled by the auto manufacturer.

But beyond employees putting in some extra hours, the recall has gone smoothly at Western Slope Auto, with the vast majority of vehicle owners responding with patience and in an orderly fashion, according to dealership owner Mike Ferris.

“Everything really has been better than you might expect with all of the negative publicity,” he said. “With Toyota customers, the longer they’ve been customers, the longer they’re more comfortable with the situation. They know the quality of the product from years of driving it.”

Toyota has recalled more than 6 million late-model vehicles in the United States since last fall because of sudden-acceleration problems in multiple models, including the Camry, Corolla and Tundra. Ferris estimates 460 vehicles sold by the dealership are subject to the recall.

He said a few people who bought Toyotas from Western Slope Auto continually called the dealership before parts arrived about two weeks ago. The calls subsided after drivers were able to schedule an appointment and bring their vehicles in.

He said four Toyota master certified technicians are working 50 to 60 hours a week, checking and installing parts on 10 to 18 vehicles each day. He expects it will take another couple of weeks for the dealership to service all of the recalled vehicles.

Ferris said he believes media have overblown the extent of the problem.

“Toyota has built this wonderful, quality reputation over this long period of time, and while there is a problem here that needs to be addressed, it is being addressed, and the vehicles are safe,” he said.

Ferris noted he and his wife drive Toyotas that are subject to the recall, and they won’t take their vehicles in until all other vehicles sold by Western Slope Auto are taken care of.

“I wouldn’t be driving with my grandkids or anybody else if I was worried about driving, and I certainly wouldn’t have my wife drive an unsafe car,” he said. “The people who really know what’s going on with the systems know they’re safe to drive.”

Ferris said anyone who has questions about the recall should contact the dealership’s service department at 243-0843.


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