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Toyota reaches out to help customers and Hurricane Sandy victims

Toyota donates 1 million dollars to relief efforts and is helping customers directly.

Toyota announced today that the company will donate 1 million dollars to the American Red Cross and other organizations helping with the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy. Furthermore, Toyota is matching all donations by its employees to relief efforts. One of Toyota’s initiatives helps its own customers directly.

In an effort to ease the financial strain on its customers, Toyota is proactively calling its customers in hard hit areas who have outstanding balances. Toyota’s outreach program will cover 13 states impacted by the storm and the DC area. Customers who may expect late payment reminders will instead be offered help. Toyota has three tiers of assistance it can provide to help its customers avoid late fees or credit report issues. First, Toyota an offer customers lease deferred payments or payment extensions to allow customers to get their affairs in order before having to pay for a vehicle that may no longer exist. That will allow time for insurance companies to do their part and cut payment checks. Toyota can also help customers who are displaced by redirecting their correspondence if they so choose. Finally, Toyota can help customers with alternative payment methods such as phone or on-line if that helps. During a time like this the last thing a customer needs to worry about is hurting their credit score by missing a payment on a car they may no longer have access to. Toyota is also offering a special 90 day deferred payment plan for customers who need a new vehicle and are in an impacted area. Driving a new vehicle and not having to make a payment until 2013 is surely helpful to those who need replacement for their destroyed car or truck and who want to have time for an insurance payment to be delivered.

The company was relieved that although its Newark NJ logistics operations sustained flood damage, as did many of its vehicles awaiting delivery, none of its employees have reportedly been injured. Many of the Toyota family dealerships were hard hit. Toyota knows as well as any company on the planet how tough times like this can be. In the 2011Pacific Tsunami Toyota was one of the hardest hit automakers. Flood damage destroyed company production areas, corporate business areas, and many of Toyota’s suppliers. Vehicle shortages followed and the impact to Toyota’s bottom line was unprecedented.

A hot-line for Toyota owners has been established. Toyota customers who would like to discuss help with Toyota directly should call 800-874-8822.