/ Motoring

Toyota’s latest recall – more mechanical misery?

Toyota logo on engine

You may have heard about yet another Toyota recall. It’s got to be bad news, right? Not necessarily. In fact, we applaud Toyota for its ‘belt and braces’ approach to a potential problem.

Today Toyota voluntarily recalled almost 19,000 cars in the UK, and nearly 1.7 million worldwide, with its Avensis and Lexus IS 250 models being affected.

The manufacturer has even asked owners of Avensis models that are up to 10 years old to come in for a free repair – that’s above and beyond the call of duty for a car whose warranty expired seven years ago.

The problem centres around fuel lines, in which ‘slight cracks can appear’ with obvious scary consequences – Toyota will replace the offending part free of charge (though the repair could unfortunately take as long as four hours).

Concerned owners should make a note of their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN, which is on your V5 document and also on a plate under the bonnet) and contact their local dealer for more guidance, or use the useful links posted at the bottom of this Conversation.

Are there enough vehicle recalls?

It makes us worry about what other manufacturers are not telling us. The recalls system in the UK certainly isn’t infallible – manufacturers recall their models voluntarily and aren’t obliged to tell owners of potential problems.

We’d like to see a system like that operated in the USA – where an independent third party assesses customer complaints and can force a manufacturer to do something about them.

Interestingly, Toyota’s recalls don’t seem to have dented its appeal with owners – some surveys show customer satisfaction is unaffected and Toyota’s worldwide sales are still healthy.

But what do you think? Should vehicle recalls be independently assessed or left to the car makers themselves? And would you be more likely to buy from a manufacturer that tends to recall often, or stick to one that doesn’t play it safe?


I’m impressed with Toyota’s bravery to do yet another recall and risk more bad publicity in a bid to keep its customers safe. All carmakers should be forced to do the same in Europe, just as they are in the US.

Sophie Gilbert says:
27 January 2011

It sounds like Toyota are confident enough with the general quality of their motors not to be scared to recall some now and then. If I could afford to buy a Toyota I would.

That being said, one of my Renaults was recalled by the manufacturer a few years ago and repaired free of charge. It was a minor fault, but still.

If Toyota are one of the exceptions that proves the rule in the UK it seems obvious that we can’t leave it to the manufacturers themselves to do the right thing. Their profits be darned if our safety is at stake.

Roker says:
5 February 2011

Toyota is fast on safety issues, but they are not so open about the secret 5 year warranty on Avensis petrol engines which have severe oil usage. Or the diesel engine having head gasket problems

Taking in my 5yr old avensis tomorrow to have the handbrake actuator replaced. Missed out by 25 days by having the work carried out for nothing. Back in 2010 Toyota changed their warranty from 3 yrs to 5 .25 days after my car was first registered. Unlucky would be an understatement especially as it is going to cost me 12 hundred pounds and that is 200 knocked off as a courtesy, very expensive. Never owned a Toyota in 42yrs of motoring and bought this one only 8 months ago. Can anyone assure me that I haven’t bought a money pit

Nick says:
12 July 2016

Toyota have not issued a recall for vehicles that are using excessive amounts of oil despite issuing a bulletin to dealers that clearly shows that the fault is due to poor design and that they are fully aware of the fault. Clearly, Toyota are only interested in recalling defective vehicles if the repair is cheap. For a modern engine to use over 1 litre of oil every 1000 miles is an environmental disaster; for Toyota to cover this issue up is a disgrace.

“We’d like to see a system like that operated in the USA – where an independent third party assesses customer complaints and can force a manufacturer to do something about them.” Perhaps a job for Trading Standards? That is, if they were a properly funded organisation with a better national coordinator. And possibly a Consumer Affairs ministry?

Carl says:
25 March 2017

Supposed to be picking up a 2013 Yaris tomorrow as you inform me that 2011 – 2014 models are affected by a new highly explosive airbag problem. What to do ?

This comment was removed at the request of the user

I received a letter from my Toyota main agent advising me of a recall on my Yaris concerning faulty driver air bags. Apparenly they are likely to explode on impact and possibly shower me in bits of metal. Parts are scarce so it may be some time before
they can update my car. What am I supposed to do in the meantime – where a suit of armour whilst driving?