Toyota states that it is on course to correct 90 % of the vehicles they have recalled throughout Europe by the end of July.
Since January, Toyota has recalled in excess of 1.7 million vehicles in Europe to test for possible safety issues in its best selling Auris, Avensis, Aygo, Yaris and Prius model lines.
Toyota revealed that greater than 1 million cars equivalent to 66 % of the overall total have already been checked to date in Europe, with a repair rate 3 to 4 times quicker than recall campaigns it has performed previously.
A Toyota Europe spokesperson said the Japanese car manufacturer doesn’t expect to repair 100 % of the vehicles associated with the recall simply because a certain amount of customers will choose not to bring in their vehicles, which is usual during recall campaigns.
“In the UK, for example, we expect completion will reach around 95 percent, even though we have sent three letters to each customer,” a Toyota spokesperson explained.
The spokesperson stated the recall campaign will never close, to ensure that even if a customer visits a dealer in 5 years’ time with a vehicle that has been subject to a recall, the problems covered by the recall will be checked and repaired without charge.
Internationally, Toyota has recalled greater than 8.5 million vehicles to test for problems which include a potentially sticky accelerator pedal, the potential entrapment of the accelerator pedal under the floor mat, braking issues with its Prius hybrid model and stability control issues with the Toyota Land Cruiser/Prado, Sequoia and Lexus GX large SUVs.
In the latest figures released for new car sales in the US Toyota had the 4th and 5th best selling cars with the Corolla / Matrix shifting 27,932 units up 50.7 % on 2009 and the Camry / Solara 27,914 up 10.2% and in the UK Toyota new car registrations in March were up 15%.
Overall Toyota’s new car sales in the US rose 24.4% in April from a year before to 157,439 units showing the second consecutive month of strong growth following a 40.7 percent increase in March, all this despite seeing its sales sinking to a 12 year low in February.
The improvement follows aggressive (or assertive, bold, and energetic depending on your standpoint) sales promotions by Toyota featuring up to 60 months of interest-free car loans and 2 years of free maintenance service.
Toyota have certainly taken the bull by the horns and credit where it’s due, I don’t think I can remember a company suffering from quite such a public mauling as the one Toyota have received (ok maybe Ratners way back) and bounce back with only limited damage to its UK sales figures and, more importantly, its reputation.
We have heard examples of staff rallying round and working 24 hour shifts to complete the recalls on thousands of cars affected with as little fuss as possible.
It will be fascinating to find out the impact over a longer period but certainly in the short term, considering the sheer scale of terrible publicity they received, Toyota and its dealer network are worthy of nothing but praise for the way it has gone about dealing with the recall (once it was eventually started).
If you have a strong brand which prides itself on reliability, it must be a particularly hard pill to swallow but they took their medicine, didn’t cry about it and continued to impress upon their customers that the problems were there to be overcome and have gallantly convinced them that Toyota was still a car manufacturer to be trusted, and for that we (and we’re sure the people that rely on them for their livelihood) salute them.