AUBURN — No one was driving out of Emerson Toyota on Wednesday in a new Corolla, RAV4, Matrix or Tundra.

The day after Toyota took the unprecedented step of halting national sales and production of eight models due to a gas pedal that could stick, customers called Emerson, asking whether their Toyotas were under recall.

General Manager Vinnie Goulette said Toyota’s corporate headquarters instructed dealers not to talk to the media, but he said none of his customers had reported problems with sticky gas pedals.

Toyota’s official announcement said it was recalling about 2.3 million vehicles.

“There’s a possibility that certain accelerator pedal mechanisms may, in rare instances, mechanically stick in a partially depressed position or return slowly to the idle position,” the statement said.

In Auburn, Emerson’s staff was taking many calls.

One employee said all 2009 and 2010 Corollas were affected by the recall and suspension, and that Toyota was working to fix the problem.

“Only in a very rare instance this might happen,” the employee said. “Before it would happen, it would be giving you trouble; it would be harder to press down on the gas and slower to return up. You’d be feeling it acting up. That would be your cue to bring it into the dealership.”

As soon as Toyota has a remedy, customers will be sent a letter. “We’ll take care of it; it’s not going to cost you anything,” the employee said.

If the gas pedal sticks, Toyota is advising customers to put both feet on the brake and not to pump the brake. Pull off the road and stop. Shut off the ignition. Call Toyota immediately.

Toyota owners on Wednesday said they weren’t overly concerned.

Lisa Pepin of Greene, who drives a RAV4, said she was happy with her Toyota. “I’ve had no issues with my car.”

She called her dealer and was told her 2006 model was not part of the recall, but she was given advice on what to do in case her gas pedal sticks.

She was impressed that Toyota halted sales until it fixes the problem. “What they’re doing is taking a big step to make sure the consumer is safe. That’s good.”

Amanda Christman of Lewiston was driving an Avalon with temporary plates. “I just got this,” she said. Friends recommended that she buy a Toyota, she said. Christman hadn’t heard about the recall. She wasn’t sure Wednesday whether she’d buy another Toyota.

Lisa-Marie Sasseville of Lewiston said Toyota’s halt of sales and production “doesn’t shake my confidence.” She called her dealer and was told her 2008 Prius was not part of the recall.

She approved of Toyota’s actions. “It sounds like they’re going above and beyond to cover it.”

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Toyota’s accelerator pedal recall includes these models:

* 2009-10 RAV4

* 2009-10 Corolla

* 2009-10 Matrix

* 2005-10 Avalon

* Certain 2007-10 Camrys

* 2010 Highlander, except hybrid models

* 2007-10 Tundra

* 2008-10 Sequoia

Source: www.toyota.com

Lisa-Marie Sasseville of Lewiston walks away from her Toyota Prius at the Walmart parking lot Wednesday. Sasseville, a loyal Toyota owner, checked with her dealer and was told her Pruis was not affected by a recall of some Toyota models that have sticky gas pedals.

Toyota Priuses are lined up for sale at Emerson Toyota on Wednesday. Because of an unresolved sticky gas pedal, the dealership can’t sell some cars, including new Corollas and Tundras.




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