N. Palm Bch dealership ready to fix your Prius

By Juan Carlos Fanjul - bio | email

NORTH PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - Earl Stewart Toyota mechanics downloaded a software program Tuesday afternoon that allows them to quickly fix the braking problem which now affects their popular Toyota Hybrid the Prius.

This follows complaints about a delay when the brakes are pressed in cold conditions and on some bumpy roads.

The reprogramming of the anti-lock braking system -- which involves plugging in a laptop computer into the car to download the new information -- only takes 15 minutes since no actual labor is required.

The latest announcement brings the total number of Toyotas being recalled to 8.5 million, including those recalled last month because of problems with gas pedals.

At Earl Stewart, the dealership says the phone has been ringing off the hook with both positive and negative complaints.

Even though it's been a public relations nightmare, the dealer says most customers are willing to stand by Toyota.

"It's a shame this has happened all at once, But I'm glad because it's a chance for Toyota to reinvent itself and get this quality thing down and just move on," said Stu Stewart, son of Earl Stewart.

Stewart says business is down in the showroom, but he feels as soon as Toyota straightens out all the recalls things should gradually go up.

Nationally, Toyota's new car sales and used car values are heading south, with the Prius losing $1,500 in a week.

Earl Stewart Toyota says they can start fixing affected Priuses first thing Wednesday morning.