| -

ORLANDO, Fla. — As Toyota dealers scramble to respond to all the customer inquiries about potential pedal problems for their vehicles, ActivEngage announced it is providing stores with another way to communicate the latest news as it comes out from the automaker.

Basically, via the company's live chat platform, dealers can now share recall information with their customers in real time, and apparently customers are taking advantage of this option.

The company said it has compiled all relevant information and details, as well as educating virtual sales assistants and adding special site graphics to all ActivEngage Toyota dealer sites in preparation for all the questions.

According to the ActivEngage, there has already been a large spike in traffic, jumping 15-20 percent this week, with a proportional spike in chat conversations. The program is designed to specifically allow dealers to focus on phone calls and customer walk-ins for those seeking information.

"Our Toyota dealers are now directing concerned shoppers to their Web sites for information, using the sites as hubs of communication instead of relying on personnel at the dealership," explained Ted Rubin, ActivEngage executive vice president.

The program can also help dealers capture information on customers seeking Toyota recall information and ultimately use this to help them schedule service appointments for fixes, officials noted.

"We knew consumers were going to utilize the Web as the primary source of information (just as they did with Cash for Clunkers) and we are now helping our Toyota dealers online," said Todd Smith, ActivEngage president.

"Our chat agents can deliver consistent and comprehensive recall information via Web sites, rather than sending people to the telephone or into the showroom. We have access to all recall information, and we will continue to educate and update all our virtual sales associates about how to handle the recall chat conversations," he concluded.