AG Cuomo, Toyota reach deal on repairs
(AP) - Toyota Motor Corp. has agreed to guaranteefor New York owners of recalled vehicles that it will pick up carsand trucks at their homes, pay for out-of-pocket transportationcosts and offer drivers free rental cars during repairs. The deal - costs weren't specified - represents the first formalconcession reached between the world's largest automaker andattorneys general around the country. The agreement with New YorkAttorney General Andrew Cuomo doesn't preclude Cuomo's office fromcontinuing its investigation into Toyota's recall. Cuomo announced Wednesday that Toyota and Lexus dealers willoffer services such as at-home pickup and return of recalledvehicles, free rental cars during repairs and reimbursement for thecost of transportation. The services will be tailored to the needsof each customer. "Everyone at Toyota is focused on making the recent recalls assimple and trouble-free as possible for our customers," said JimLentz, president and chief operating officer of Toyota MotorsSales, U.S.A., Inc. Cuomo's investigation into the recall is continuing though theofficial would not say what specifically the attorney general islooking at. The recall affects 500,000 vehicles in New York. "It is unacceptable that New York consumers should faceadditional burdens when dealing with a safety problem that isToyota's responsibility," Cuomo said in a statement. "New Yorkerswho own recalled vehicles understandably may be reluctant to drivetheir cars and assume the risk of harm to themselves and others onthe road." Toyota and its Lexus subsidiary will reimburse local dealers forthe 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'sstatement.