Toyota to Cover Costs Related to Safety Problems

February 26, 2010

Toyota Motor Corp. said it will offer free at-home pickup of vehicles covered by the U.S. safety recall, pay for customers’ out-of-pocket transportation costs and provide drivers free rental cars during repairs.

The deal — costs to the company weren’t specified — was initially announced as part of an agreement between Toyota and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. But hours later under questioning during a congressional hearing in Washington, a senior Toyota executive said the company was extending the same benefits nationwide.

Cuomo announced Wednesday that Toyota and Lexus dealers will offer services such as at-home pickup and return of customers’ recalled vehicles and free rental cars during repairs. The services will be tailored to the needs of each customer.

In Washington, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Ed Towns, asked whether Toyota would pay the same costs for other customers

“Are you doing this just in New York?” Towns asked.

“No, this is happening nationwide,” said Yoshimi Inaba, president of Toyota Motor North American and CEO of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Cuomo’s investigation into the recall is continuing though his office will not say what specifically the attorney general is investigating. The recall affects 500,000 vehicles in New York.

Toyota and its Lexus subsidiary will reimburse local dealers for the cost of providing the accommodations.

The services will include pickup and return of the vehicle, driving the customer to the dealership or his or her work place, and rental and loaner cars or taxis during the time the customer is “unable or unwilling to use his or her car,” according to Cuomo’s statement.


Associated Press Writer Marcus Franklin contributed to this report from New York City.

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