Toyota dealers paying close attention to congressional hearings

Many Toyota dealers are keeping a close eye on congressional hearings being held this week in Washington, D.C. on the company's safety problems.

The large scale recall of certain Toyota models, is likely a factor in the recent slump of sales seen at Toyota dealerships across the country, and here in the Bluegrass.

Just last week, 27 NEWSFIRST spoke with Steve Gates, owner of Toyota South in Richmond, who told us his dealership normally sells about 50 vehicles a month.

But since the recall, only 20 have left the lot.

Gates said the weather could be another factor in slumping sales as well, while saying he's confident and optimistic for the future.

Independent dealerships have already had their voices heard on Capitol Hill, reminding Congress Toyota has a tradition of excellence that shouldn't be overlooked.

"You know, you would think from some of the reports you read, that recall is something brand new in the industry, and it's not," Tammy Darvish of Darcars said. "For Toyota, of course it is. It's the first involuntary recall they've had in 52 years."

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has also been outspoken about the relationship the Commonwealth has with the carmaker and urged lawmakers to be fair during these hearings.

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