Toyota tells dealers pedal fix on the way

(AP) - Toyota apologized to its customers Monday andsaid a piece of steel about the size of a postage stamp will fixthe gas pedal problem that led to the recall of millions of cars.Repairs will take about a half-hour and will start in a matter ofdays, the company said.

Toyota insisted the solution, rolled out six days after ittemporarily stopped selling some of its most popular models, hadbeen through rigorous testing and would solve the problem for thelife of the car.

After a week in which Toyota drivers said they were worriedabout the safety of their cars and dealers were frustrated by alack of information, Toyota said it would work to regain the trustof its customers.

"I know that we have let you down," Jim Lentz, president ofToyota Motor Sales USA, said in a video address.

The repair involves installing a steel shim a couple ofmillimeters thick in the pedal assembly, behind the top of the gaspedal, to eliminate the excess friction between two pieces of theaccelerator mechanism. In rare cases, Toyota says, that frictioncan cause the pedal to become stuck in the depressed position.

Toyota said car owners would be notified by mail and told to setup appointments with their dealers. It said cars already on theroad would get priority over those on the lot.

The recall covered 4.2 million cars worldwide and 2.3 million inthe United States, including some of Toyota's best-selling models,such as the Camry and Corolla. It has recalled millions morebecause of floor mats that can catch the gas pedal.

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