Reversing course, Toyota Motor Co. has decided to ship replacement accelerator units to its U.S. dealers before using them to get five shuttered North American assembly lines back in operation.
Describing the replacement as a “minor repair,” one major Washington, D.C. dealer said it hopes to begin start contacting customers to make repairs as soon as it has a “sufficient” supply of the parts on the had. But while Toyota is pressing its supplier, CTS Corp., to turn out accelerator assemblies as rapidly a possible, it’s unclear how long the latest in a series of safety setbacks for the automaker will be resolved.
The problem is that there are three major steps that must be taken before things get anywhere back to normal:
- Toyota must notify owners of eight affected vehicles of the recall; dealers must schedule appointments and then complete repairs;
- Dealers must also complete repairs of the un-sold vehicles sitting on their lots. There are an estimated 200,000 or more of the affected vehicles that will need new accelerator assemblies before they can be sold;
- Toyota’s factories cannot begin producing the new vehicles until the plants have a steady supply of the replacement components.
The automaker initially planned to ship the first of the new accelerator parts to its factories, but when word hit the news media, including Ken Zino’s report click here, that triggered a hue-and-cry that led the embattled company to re-direct the components to dealership
Brian Lyons, a Toyota spokesman, told the AP that the parts “are on their way to dealers,” but he cautioned it was unclear when they would arrive and how soon repairs could begin.