Local News

Feb 2, 2010 9:23 PM by Ariel Wesler

Life-saving tips for Toyota drivers

Local toyota dealers say replacement parts for their sticking gas pedals should arrive this week.

Toyota has recalled more than two million of its vehicles. There are concerns over gas pedals that can stick to the car floor. The company has for the time being stopped selling eight recalled car models.

While uncommon.... accelerator issues have proven to be deadly. Last year, it killed four people including a San Diego C-H-P officer.

This 9-1-1 audio from an accident in San Diego last year is a chilling remimnder of just how deadly an accelerator problem can be.

While the accidents are rare, you need to know how to stay safe should it happen to you. Consumer reports gives the following advice.

Step one. . .Apply firm pressure to the brake.
Step two. . .Shift the car into neutral
Step three. . .Pull over to the side of the road. Once stopped. . .hut off the car and shift it into park.

Carl DeRiso, the general manager at the Toyota dealership in Santa Maria took me for a test run.

"It's not stopping. . .it's not stopping. . .it's not stopping and then just flip it into neutral," DeRiso said.

"If the throttle's getting floored, common sense would tell me just to turn the car off," said Orin Stinn of Orcutt.

But experts say just turning off your car isn't enough. It'll lock up your power steering and cause you to lose complete control of the vehicle.

DeRiso says he expects the replacement parts to arrive as early as tomorrow to fix the sticky pedal problem.

"With the reinforcement bar, it eliminates that excess friction, allowing it to spring back and function properly," DeRiso said.

Once the parts are in, the dealership plans to extend its hours to accomodate the recalled vehicles.

Consumer Reports recommends practicing these steps in a safe location.

The federal government is also launching its own investigation....and checking with other car companies.


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