Toyota recall action seen torpedoing sales
DDP/The Local · 14 Mar 2010, 10:22
Published: 14 Mar 2010 10:22 GMT+01:00
Problems with the accelerator in a number of Toyota models has led to enormous recalls for the company around the world, yet in Germany sales teams are still optimistic.
Alain Uyttenhoven, German head of the Japanese car maker told the Wirtschaftswoche magazine, “With around 400 sales, last weekend was the best for us since the end of the auto scrapping premium scheme.”
He said the repairs needed to ensure safety would cost around €30 per car, a cost which would be at least met by the marketing budget to make sure all are returned.
Most of the relevant cars in Germany should be repaired by the end of April he said.
He added, “And of course we are damaged by the negative headlines. Without them we would be selling an estimated 20 percent more.”
The safety authorities in Rhineland had been tasked by the federal government to test the eight Toyota models affected.
They say that all eight can be stopped while at full speed, meaning that the recall will be voluntary rather than compulsory, said Uyttenhoven.
This means that the recall is for repair of potential problems in the German cars does not have to be reported to the authorities and that traffic safety is not considered to be compromised by the Toyotas on the roads.
The Toyota Germany website says all 215,796 German owners of affected cars are being contacted personally and given the opportunity to bring their cars to workshops for the accelerator pedals to be replaced.
It says that condensation has been finding its way into the pedal structure, slowing down its return action from being pressed, to no longer having an affect.
This has led to some cars not slowing down even when the driver takes their foot off the accelerator, and in some cases the pedal remaining depressed and the car not stopping.