The Associated Press has learned that Toyota is sending new gas pedal systems to car factories rather than dealerships who want the parts to take care of millions of customers whose pedals may stick.
Toyota spokesman Brian Lyons confirms information in a company e-mail obtained by the AP that says parts were shipped to factories.
Lyons says that's how the company normally distributes parts.
But some dealers say they should get the parts first because they now have no way to fix the pedals on any of the 4.2 million recalled vehicles affecting eight U.S. models.
Toyota has halted production and sales of the models, including the best-selling Camry sedan.
Lyons said Toyota did not send the parts to dealers because it has not decided whether to have the systems in the recalled vehicles repaired or replaced.
The company on Thursday presented a remedy to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and it is awaiting a decision before proceeding.
"We're not ready to launch this program yet," Lyons said, adding that letters must be sent to customers whose vehicles were recalled and service technicians must be trained on whatever solution the company ultimately decides.
He said he did not know if any parts had been shipped from factories to parts depots, which is the next step in the process, but dealerships don't have them.
Engineers and other workers were up all night Thursday getting the process ready, he said.
The company has said its highest priority is fixing the pedals for existing customers.
"Nothing is more important to Toyota than doing the right thing for our customers — and restoring their confidence in the safety of our vehicles," Toyota said in a statement.
Toyota has recalled cars and trucks in the U.S., Europe and China because of the faulty gas pedals.
The U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is launching an investigation into the problems with Toyota's accelerator pedal systems.
It has scheduled a Feb. 4 hearing entitled, "Toyota Gas Pedals: Is the Public at Risk?"
"There appears to be growing public confusion regarding which vehicles may be affected and how people should respond. In short, the public is unsure as to what exactly the problem is, whether it is safe to drive their cars, or what they should do about it," wrote Chairman Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., in a letter Thursday to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Separately, a House investigative panel is planning a Feb. 25 hearing on the Toyota recalls.
In a letter to NHTSA administrator David Strickland, lawmakers requested a timeline from January 2000 until the present for NHTSA's investigations into Toyota defects and other data related to reports of sudden acceleration.
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