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.
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?