Up to 40,000 vehicles are being recalled by Toyota New Zealand as part of a global recall by the Japanese car manufacturer.
More than six million of the brand’s vehicles are being recalled after faults were found in mechanisms affecting the steering wheel column and the seat rail.
The recall is being stressed as precautionary by Toyota New Zealand’s general manager of customer services Spencer Morris.
There had been no reported accidents or incidents related to the recalls in New Zealand or elsewhere because of the faults, he said.
Between 30,000 and 40,000 vehicles, produced between 2004 and 2010, are expected to be recalled, from around 100,000 cars sold in that period.
Editor of motoring website The Dog and Lemon Guide, Clive Matthew Wilson, said the faults were a result of cost cutting.
“In the early 21st century Toyota came up with the brilliant idea of making one part that would fit millions and millions of cars, and also built parts relatively cheaply in order to maximise profits at that time, and now that policy has come back to bite them,” he told Radio New Zealand (RNZ) this morning.
However, Morris said that criticism was “overly simplistic”.
“There’s many factors that cause recalls,” he said, denying these latest faults were caused by cheap parts.
“During the period that Clive talked about we grew quite quickly and we moved a lot of production offshore, so yes, we did make some mistakes, but the failure rate on the parts we’re talking about in this recall is extremely low and this is a precautionary measure,” he told RNZ.
“What we want to do is fix the problem before it leads to something much worse.”
Customers had reported failures to the company and that’s how it had identified the problems, Morris said.
If motorists noticed a warning light illuminated on their dashboard they should take their car into the dealer immediately. Others had noticed their car horn was not working, he said.
Toyota’s RAV4, Prado and Hilux models produced between June 2004 and December 2010 and sold as new, are affected by the spiral cable recall. The spiral cable is a wire which connects the steering wheel mounted electrical systems.
Around 7500 Yaris vehicles produced between January 2005 and August 2010 and sold as new are affected by the seat rail recall, where there is a potential for the springs used in the seat locking mechanisms to break if the seat is frequently adjusted.
One hundred Yaris vehicles with tilt/telescopic steering adjustment, produced between September 2005 and February 2009, are also affected, as are 1037 used imported Ractis and Ist.
Toyota New Zealand staff are working through model numbers and will contact owners affected.
Anyone who is concerned about their vehicle can call 0800 TOYOTA.
Source – NZ Herald