Mixed Feelings on the Toyota Lot - NBC Southern California

Mixed Feelings on the Toyota Lot

One visitor to a North Hollywood Toyota dealer recounts his story

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mixed Feelings on the Toyota Lot
    Now is a good time to negotiate no matter what car you're shopping for

    Car shoppers haven't given up on Toyota. In fact, some of them were out in  North Hollywood Thursday night, searching for a bargain.

    "How could I possibly lose faith in Toyota? Everybody I know owns one," lamented Arthur Freud, as he strolled on the lot.

     Toyota's recall and stop sale order, involving eight popular models, has made it tough for sales people to make deals. But on the other hand, they can focus on the models that are still on the market.   

    But this week, few hours have been spent on traditional sales activities. Just this afternoon, a Toyota owner drove up on the lot to return his 2008 Tundra, with a remarkable story to tell.

    "It just kept on going. Tried braking it, like someone was pushing it," said an excited John Berberyan. "I’d just dialed 911, didn’t want to cause any problems. I almost sideswiped a couple of cars. Kinda felt like it went in reverse, I heard all kind of grinding noises and I just pulled over and stopped."

    Mechanics say Berberyan probably did the right thing. Their best advice... don't panic.

    "Use both feet on the brake pedal that way you have plenty of power with your legs," said mechanic Bruce Miller  "Pushing gently with both feet as hard as necessary but get it into neutral so the engine is not pulling against the braking. The engine might rev up but if it hurts the engine, that’s better than crashing the car."

    Som industry analysts believe Toyota is going about this unprecedented action the right way.

    "They have said they have found a fix and they're working to manfacture that part," said Jessica Caldwell of Edmunds Inc. "Hopefully they'll put it on as many cars as possible in the shortest time span."

    Meanwhile, Berberyan thinks they can do better.

    "That’s the only truck I have," he said. "My wife and my kids drive that. Just be careful out there guys. Anybody who owns a Toyota, just be careful."