LaHood: Bring Toyotas to dealers

Posted February 3, 2010

— Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told owners of recalled Toyotas to "stop driving" their vehicles, but later said he misspoke and meant that owners should take the cars back to the dealer to have problems fixed.

LaHood spoke before a House subcommittee one day after the automaker reported disappointing January sales and an investigation widened into sticky gas pedals that prompted a massive recall.

“What I said in there was obviously a misstatement,” LaHood said.

Department of Transportation spokeswoman Olivia Alair said the DOT was advising owners to contact their local dealerships to arrange for fixes as soon as possible.

Toyota's most recent recall in the United States affects 2.3 million vehicles over the potential for sticking gas pedals.

LaHood told reporters earlier in the day that Toyota owners should contact their dealer immediately and "exercise caution until repairs can be made."

LaHood also said he plans to speak with Toyota President Akio Toyoda about the automaker's spate of recalls in the United States. LaHood confirms that the government is investigating potential electrical problems in Toyota vehicles.

The secretary said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will conduct an investigation into electronic throttle control systems and potential electromagnetic interference in the nation's fleet of vehicles.


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  • kcfoxie Feb 3, 2010

    wildervb: yeah the jetta was pricey, but if it lasts 12 years like the beetle the $24,000 price tag was totally worth it. For what I save in fuel, it makes up for the note. Ford says the Fiesta can't be sold at a profit with a diesel, I'd gladly pay 25-30k for an American car that uses American renewable fuel in greater than 20% allotments that came with a 5-year warranty. I won't buy a new VW because I don't believe in the 3 year warranty. Seriously, 36k is all you'll warranty it for? I put that on in the first 11 months.

  • URKiddingMe Feb 3, 2010

    2 recalls for Toyota is actually a really big news story. Ford and GM have so many it's not worth reporting. Ford and Saturn engines burst into flames... not news. Toyota floor mats get stuck... NEWS!!!

  • todmax Feb 3, 2010

    This pedal sticking issue is something that builds up over time and would be noticeable way before it got to the point it would stick open. On my old cars, if the pedal were starting to stick, I'd squirt some WD-40 in there. Funny thing is, the same fix would likely work for the new issues. It's just crud built up on two friction surfaces.

    Unfortunately the parts that are malfunctioning come from an Indiana vendor. They also sell to many other automakers that have drive by wire. Ford has some commercial trucks being sold overseas that are affected, and I imagine more will come out. Wonder if Toyota is reconsidering their push to try to compete on the "American Made" agenda.

  • doinbizzness Feb 3, 2010

    i would like to see WRAL change the headline to "LaHood retracts earlier statement regarding Toyota" it still incenuates what the earlier headline was and that is that the Transportation Secretary thinks people should park their Toyotas which is simply untrue. Thanks for considering it????

  • 007KnightRider Feb 3, 2010

    "I have had GM cars for 10 years, all garbage. They were unreliable, so I switched to Toyota and have not had a single major problem. It is incredibly unfortunately that Toyota had this major problem, which came from their supplier. Consumer Reports also had a report card last year, supporting that GM reliability still needs big improvements." - treet007

    It's unfortunate that you had a bad apple from GM. I've had a pre-owned '97, pre-owned '02 (still have), a new '06 and now a new '09 all Pontiac (GM) vehicles. I've never had any problems with any of them. Maintenance is key as with any vehicle these days. If you have a problem fix it right away don't hold off until the problem gets worse. GM has come a long way from their past representation of bad vehicles. I've never owned a Ford (Found On Road Dead), Toyota (GO-OTA), etc. I'm a loyal GM customer and will continue to be for years to come!

  • Brogden Feb 3, 2010

    You guys who have made auto costs a health care issue - have you forgotten that most Toyotas sold in the US are made in the
    US??????? Those workers have health care packages!!!! As do the BMW workers in Spartanburg, SC, Mercedes workers in Alabama, Honda workers in Ohio, etc, etc, etc.

  • wildervb Feb 3, 2010


    Yes, citizens in other countries pay higher taxes, but they get back benefits like health insurance. In the US the health insurance costs go directly to the employers. This puts our manufacturers at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to price.

  • cwood3 Feb 3, 2010

    Another cse of foot-in-mouth-disease by an Obama Admin. Official. Gee, they are getting good at this. I wonder how much Toyota's stock went down after he said that. Hummm!! Does not matter, Obama and his team are the Messiah-they casue warm streaks down liberal's legs. They can do no wrong in the hope and change-destroy America crowd.

    Well guess what, President Bush did some wrong stuff, but never-did he or his team do some of the stupid stuff Obama and his green team have done(I don't mean environmentally green-I mean inexperienced). And their Press Secretary is absolutely clueless.

    The good news-November is coming. WE can make a change in the Congressional line up so Obama will have to really justify anything to get it passed. Of course, He'll just do Executive Orders and by pass Congress. So much for that fine document that few understand-THE CONSTITUTION!!

    Libs don't care about the Constitution-or companies either-they only get in their way!!!

  • rand321 Feb 3, 2010

    one would think the Obama adminstration would get their act together to not misspeak so much! LaHood, Obama and the others all have a vested interest in helping their union supporters oout as well as representing the largest stockholders of GM and Chrysler.

    LaHood knew of the issues with Toyata for awhile (as i head on CNBC) and said nothing and then tells folks to stop driving? What is the dude's agenda?

  • aspenstreet1717 Feb 3, 2010

    "One of the biggest advantages foreign manufacturers have over US manufacturers is the cost of health care. US union and non-union workers get health care paid for by their employer. Foreign companies don't have to worry about this cost."

    No but the employee does. By paying high taxes and 3 prices for everything.