UK leads way in Toyota recall

Toyota dealers have been working round the clock and have dealt with almost a third of the 72,000 cars which have been recalled in the past month to deal with accelerator and computer software issues.

Toyota dealers have been working round the clock and have dealt with almost a third of the 72,000 cars which have been recalled in the past month to deal with accelerator and computer software issues.

Didier Leroy, the company's European sales and marketing chief, said that service departments had been open late into the night and at weekends with the UK leading the way having started its recall programme in early February.

The DVLA also pulled out all the stops to help Toyota locate all Toyota customers with new or second hand vehicles. A process that can sometimes take weeks was completed in a matter of two or three days.

He said: 'The fix can be carried out quite quickly - in 30 to 45 minutes. Across Europe we have called 1.7 million cars and we have already carried out recall work on 16,000 vehicles.'


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He admitted that the speed at which events unfolded was a surprise but added that in Europe the recall issue had not become such a big issue as it has in America where it has become the subject of congressional hearings.

'We have had to move quickly to reassure customers and get their cars in for recall work.'

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He also said there had been no serious accidents or fatalities in Europe involving sudden acceleration problems.

Now the charm offensive begins.

'We have had to stop delivering cars during February to free up workshop space to carry out recall work. Starting now we will resume our advertising and marketing campaigns.

'We have to learn from what has happened and we are setting up regional organisations to monitor quality and to ensure that any small, single concerns are addressed immediately.'

He added, however, that there was no evidence that the problems with accelerator pedals or software had been caused by cost-cutting measures by the company.

'Our quality standards remain as high as ever. We are constantly offered cheaper products by suppliers but we turn them down - they might be cheaper but they will not meet our standards on durability.'

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