Florence Toyota dealership unfazed by recall

Florence, SC - By Alisha Laventure - bio | email

FLORENCE SC (WMBF) - The Toyota dealership in Florence says their customers continue to stand behind them, despite another company recall.

The Toyota Lexus and Crown models were recalled in Japan Monday because of faulty engines that can cause vehicles to stall while in motion. This is the most recent in a series of recalls involving nearly 270,000 vehicles worldwide.

Toyota has recalled more than 8.5 million vehicles since 2009. However, Brain Laurent, a manager at Florence Toyota, says every recall gives the company a chance to reaffirm their commitment to their customers.

"[Toyota officials] don't look at something like this that happens and look at how it's going to harm them," Laurent said. "They look at how they can take it, attack it and expand on it, and make their company better and stronger."

Laurent said the first of the Toyota recalls that occurred in September 2009 did have a negative impact on sales in Florence, but the company has bounced back since that recall and subsequent recalls that followed.

Still, some auto experts say Monday's recall is the last thing Toyota needs on its record.

"I think Toyota's latest recall just brings another spotlight onto the quality problems at Toyota," said Hans Gremiel, editor for Automotive News in Asia. "They have done well in eventually dealing with the earlier recalls and that just started to die down. Now this comes up again and reminds everybody about the recall issues."

While Toyota may be considered the poster child for automotive recalls, Laurent said the company's response serves as an example to the car industry.

"I like to say we set the bar a little higher for other car companies to have to take care of their recalls," he commented.

Regardless of Monday's recall, Florence residents continue to shop for Toyota cars in their local dealership.

"I like the style of their cars, but most of all, they're dependable. I don't have to worry," said Linda Lapp, who along with her husband Dennis say they will continue to drive Toyota.

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