Toyota Recall to Eliminate Overtime and Some Production at the W.Va. Plant

By: WSAZ News Staff; Associated Press Email
By: WSAZ News Staff; Associated Press Email

UPDATE at 9pm Wednesday 1/27
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Production at the Toyota plant in Buffalo, W.Va., will feel the impact of Toyota's recall of eight vehicle models.

Mike Lutz, general manager of adminstration at the plant, says with the cutback in orders from the vehicle plants, daily overtime has been eliminated for the near future. They also have canceled production on the next couple of Saturdays.

Plant officials also have altered how many hours a day some of the production lines are in operation.

These changes will not effect any jobs, but company officials say the scaled back production is neccessary for now.

UPDATE from 6pm Wednesday 1/27
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Toyota has set up a hotline with experts ready to address concerns and questions you may have about your Toyota vehicle. It is 1-800-331-4331.

Meanwhile, the West Virginia International Auto Show is about to kick off, but the talk of the town is on this massive recall and halt in sales.

The Toyota booth won't be empty at the Charleston Civic Center.

"They are here in full force," West Virginia Automobile and Truck Dealers Association President Ruth Lemmon said. "They will have their full array of products downstairs in the Toyota booth. There will be specialists here to talk about the vehicles so basically it's business as usual with the auto show."

Business is not usual for the car manufacturer, recalling and halting sales on eight major models.

"I hope that this problem that they've had with their lines of cars does not hurt the economy in West Virginia because we have a plant here and sell a lot of Toyotas here," Larry Bailey of the West Virginia Motorclub Council said.

Even though this recall isn't moving Toyota forward, it doesn't mean customers will stop buying.

"I liked the dependability of the vehicle and the gas mileage," Stephen Spence of Charleston said. "You know there wasn't a whole lot of maintenance. I didn't have to worry about the breakdowns and stuff. I've had trouble in the past with other vehicles and brands."

Toyota's other brands, including Lexus and Scion, will drive on with no problems.

"I felt Toyota was acting very responsibly," Lemmon said. "This could have been a situation that could have been brushed by, and they took a very proactive approach. They're protecting the consumers; they're also protecting the dealers."

Dealers some think will have a rough year ahead.

"I definitely think we'll see a drastic decline in their sales," Spence said.

Sales that can't happen until all the bugs are worked out.

The Buffalo plant makes transmissions and engines for some of the cars that are recalled. It also make parts for other models.

UPDATE at 7:45pm
PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Managers at the Toyota plant in Buffalo are meeting Monday night to determine the impact the company's decision will have locally.

The plant makes 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines, as well as transmissions

They ship to several different plants, including some of the ones where production is being halted, as well as some other sites. The plant also makes parts for Highlander and RAV4 cars that are not affected.

Plant officials received the information from Toyota late Monday and are trying to assess the situation.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Toyota is suspending U.S. sales of eight recalled vehicle models to fix accelerator pedals that stick.

As part of the plan, Toyota is halting production at five manufacturing facilities, including a line at the Georgetown, Ky., plant - for the week of Feb. 1 "to assess and coordinate activities."

There are 2.3 million vehicles involved in the recall, which was announced last week.

The Japanese automaker says the sales suspension includes the 2009-2010 RAV4, the 2009-2010 Corolla, the 2009-2010 Matrix, the 2005-2010 Avalon, the 2007-2010 Camry, the 2010 Highlander, the 2007-2010 Tundra and the 2008-2010 Sequoia.

The recall came months after Toyota recalled 4.2 million vehicles due to gas pedals that could become trapped under floor mats, causing the vehicle to accelerate.

A news release on the company's Web site states that production at these five manufacturing facilities will be stopped on Feb. 1, 2010:

• Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Canada (Corolla, Matrix, and RAV4)
• Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana (Sequoia and Highlander)
• Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky - Line 1 (Camry and Avalon)
• Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc. (Camry)
• Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Texas (Tundra)

The release goes on to say, "No other North American Toyota vehicle production facilities are affected by the decision to stop production."

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