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Toyota pedals can be replaced, memo says

WASHINGTON --- Toyota owners who are dissatisfied with the repairs to their vehicles covered by a massive recall to address sticky gas pedals can have replacement accelerator pedals installed, according to a memo the company sent to dealers.

The Japanese automaker said in a memo obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press that if a customer is unhappy with the feel of the accelerator after the car is repaired, dealers can provide a replacement pedal at no charge.

Dealers have been inserting a piece of metal into the gas pedal mechanism to eliminate friction that was causing the pedal problem on 2.3 million vehicles involved in a January recall.

"A replacement pedal should only be offered to a customer after the reinforcement bar has been installed and the customer has expressed dissatisfaction with the operation and/or feel of the pedal," Toyota said.

The memo, dated February 2010, said the pedal replacement "is based upon specific customer request only. Dealers are not to solicit pedal replacement." The memo was first reported by The New York Times.

In other news

CAR MANUFACTURER Daimler AG will pay $185 million to settle criminal and civil investigations in which the company is accused of paying tens of millions of dollars in bribes to officials of at least 22 foreign governments over the course of a decade, two people familiar with the deal said Tuesday. Filings in federal court in Washington said the German-based company and three of its subsidiaries engaged in the misconduct from 1998 to 2008 in countries that included China, Russia, Egypt and Greece. The payments allegedly were aimed at helping secure contracts for the purchase of Daimler vehicles.

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