Nightly News   |  February 01, 2010

Toyota gears up for the big fix

Even if the carmaker's plans to fix the faulty gas pedals in more than two million vehicles works, repairing its once sterling image will take far longer. CNBC's Phil LeBeau reports.

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>>> we turn to a developing story in this country, the issue is product safety . the product here is toyota . the company said today it's going to begin fixing the 2.3 million cars that have been recalled for faulty accelerators, they also apologize for the problems. questions are will the fix be enough? and can toyota fix the damage to its brand. phil lebeau covers the car business for cnbc and for us. we're happy to have him here in our new york studios. what a hit toyota has taken.

>> it continues to go on and on. it's the second time in four months that toyota said it had a plan for stopping the cars from speeding up. they're having dealers add a part to the gas pedals.

>> no charge. we need to make sure whenever a customer needs us, we're responsive.

>> reporter: acrossed country, toyota dealers are gearing up for the big fix.

>> we're happy to inspect your vehicle if you're experiencing a problem.

>> reporter: this toyota dealership will start repairing faulty gas pedals later this week.

>> as a dealer, i have 100% confidence in what toyota does, and i know it's the right thing.

>> reporter: to fix more than 2 million vehicles, toyota will add a small metal plate to the gas pedal . it will ease friction and stop the pedal from sticking and cars from accelerating after drives take their foot off the gas. toyota ran the plan by federal safety officials. toyota 's president believes the repair will stop questions about whether or not toyota 's are safe to drive.

>> we're confident between the first recall we've had on the entrapment of the pedal, and now this on the overall pedal, i think we have it.

>> reporter: there have also been questions about whether or not faulty electronics in toyota accelerators are causing cars and trucks to speeds up. but the company denies that's the problem.

>> we've tested it, outside agencies have tested it. there are fail safe mechanisms within the electronics. we are confident it is not an electronics issue.

>> reporter: after two recalls of more than two million vehicles, there's plenty of skepticism that toyota knows exactly what's causing the problem.

>> earlier they said it's the floor mat. now they're saying its the accelerator pedal . if it doesn't work, it's the consumer's life on the line.

>> reporter: not knowing if this fix will work, is what scares toyota owners who claim their cars have sped up unexpectedly.

>> i don't want to take that car back unless i have a guarantee this isn't going to happen again.

>> reporter: toyota dealers are extending hours, even going 24-7. but the sheer volume of calls being recalled means this issue will linger for possibly months.

>> we'll be talking about it for years to come. phil la beau, thanks as always.

>>> in washington, president obama unveiled