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A rocky road for Toyota
The Japanese motor company is now investigating a possible recall of the 2009-10 Corolla model because of steering problems, but dealers say that the recall will probably not extend to the UAE.
February 18, 2010 2:27 by Aarti Nagraj
“We told them [dealers] that you have to call one by one all the people that you have sold to and try to co-ordinate with them, in a timely way, to bring in the cars and do the modification, and give them back,” Mohammed Badri, the acting director general of Esma told The National, adding that dealers had been given a deadline of April to complete the recall.
But the move is only a precautionary measure, according to Al Futtaim. “I can assure you that there have been no reports of any incidents of these vehicles in the UAE,” said the spokesperson.
The carmaker has already taken steps to try and appease its consumers; it said that it will appoint a chief quality officer in every principal geographical region across the world so that it will be “more alert to customer sentiment.”
Toyota has also said that all its future models will include a brake-override system that will cut the engine when the accelerator and brake pedals are pressed at the same time. New vehicles will also have an enhanced on-board event data recorder, a kind of “black box” for the vehicles, the company said.
However, brand loyalty among Toyota owners has already decreased considerably because of recent problems, according to research by Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence, a US-based automobile information service company. The firm said that owners of other car brands were also less likely to consider buying a new Toyota now.
While Al Futtaim refused to comment on whether interest in the brand had reduced in the UAE, the spokesperson said that the company was not focusing on sales at the moment. “It’s on assuring customers and providing the best service that we can and getting the service campaign up and running,” she said.
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