Saturday, September 20, 2014

Examples of recalls and safety concerns of Toyota in China

Some weird things have happened in China.

The TREAD Act requires automakers to report overseas recalls and safety campaigns for "substantially similar" models sold in other countries. Can NHTSA trust Toyota on the "substantially similar" question? Are China models and US models similar? Has Toyota reported all of the recalls noted below to NHTSA? (See news reports below).

When asked by reporters about anything weird, Toyota ALWAYS answers "it is under investigation." And if asked when the investigation results will be available, the answerr is "We don't know." And the results never do appear, do they. This is very tiresome for reporters and very troubling for consumers.

Faulty Toyota cars led to fatal accidents in China
Posted on 1 September 2011 - 03:14pm
BEIJING (Sept 1, 2011): Toyota Motor is trying to determine whether defective cars made by the company were responsible for an undisclosed number of fatal accidents in China during the first half of the year, a Toyota official in Japan said today.
The China News Agency reported late yesterday that Toyota was named in a report by the country's top quality watchdog.
Li Yuanping, a spokesman with General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine, did not give details of the accidents, but singled out the Toyota Camry, Reiz and Prado among other models as having faulty brakes and drive shafts, the news agency said.
The report did not say how many accidents or casualties were involved.
The watchdog could not immediately be reached by Reuters.
In 2006, Toyota recalled some Prado models to fix faulty drive shafts, but it has not recalled any of the popular Reiz and Camry models, the report added.
Toyota recalled millions of vehicles in 2009 and 2010, mostly in the United States for unintended acceleration issues blamed for dozens of accidents. Subsequent inquiries found driver error was to blame in the majority of cases.
Shares in Toyota lagged strong gains in other Japanese auto stocks in Tokyo, with trading volume surging to its highest level since the days after the March 11 earthquake.
"Investors sold Toyota in the morning because the China report reminded them of the Toyota's problems in the U.S. two years ago," said Masayoshi Okamoto, head of dealing at Jujiya Securities.
"But the reports was unclear and there were no further developments, so some investors bought back the company's shares."
Toyota ended up 0.7% and was the heaviest-traded issue by turnover in Tokyo. The transport sector subindex rose 2%. – Reuters

Toyota Looking Into Chinese Safety Regulator Complaints
By Chester Dawson & The Wall Street Journal; +81-3-6269-2837;
Published September 01, 2011
| Dow Jones Newswires

TOKYO -(Dow Jones)- Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.TO) said Thursday it is investigating complaints from Chinese auto safety regulators that called into question the safety and quality of several Toyota vehicles sold in China.
On Tuesday, China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine reported that flawed brakes and other parts on Toyota vehicles during the first six months of the year had led to allegedly fatal and other injury-causing accidents.
The company is aware of the report and currently looking into the matter, said Hitoshi Yokoyama, a Beijing-based spokesman for Toyota. He declined to comment further. Toyota officials in Japan could not be reached due to a company holiday.
The vehicles implicated for safety-related defects by the Chinese safety authority include Toyota's Guangzhou-made Camry sedan, Tianjin-made Reiz sedan and imported Prado sports utility vehicle.
However, a company official knowledgeable about the issue said that Chinese regulators haven't asked Toyota to recall any of the models cited in the government report.
--Norihiko Shirouzu and Sue Feng in Beijing contributed to this article.
Copyright © 2011 Dow Jones Newswires


Toyota Trying To Confirm Chinese Fatal Accident Report

GUANGZHOU, China (Nikkei)--Toyota's China unit said in a statement Thursday it is trying to confirm whether damaged parts of Toyota passenger vehicles actually caused fatal and injurious accidents as Chinese inspection authorities have claimed.
China's General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has not provided any specific figures for such accidents, and it remains unclear why it singled out Toyota. The Toyota unit is trying to gather information as quickly as possible.
The Chinese body said the number of fatal and injurious accidents stemming from damaged parts such as brakes was "slightly higher" for Toyota vehicles, at a news conference Monday on product quality problems in the first six months of the year.
It mentioned the Camry sedan, the Reiz (Mark X in Japan) and the Prado sport utility vehicle.
Toyota was the only finished car maker named during the news conference, which touched on a range of quality issues.

Tianjin Faw Toyota Motor Co. to recall 33,809 vehicles in China

BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Tianjin Faw Toyota Motor Co. will recall 33,809 Corolla EX sedans from Tuesday to fix an engine computer malfunction, China's quality watchdog said on Monday.
The recall affects Corolla EX sedans manufactured between Oct. 23, 2010 and Jan. 29, 2011, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said in a statement on its website.
The auto maker said the onboard computer controlling engine functions may fail when the computer case is exposed to static electricity, making it impossible to start the engine and even causing the engine to stall in worst-case scenarios.
The car maker will install a wiring harness between the computer case and the bodywork to eliminate potential risks caused by static electricity.
The statement said car owners can contact the AQSIQ on the hotline numbers 010-59799616 or 65537365 for further information.

Lexus recall gas pedal 2011
BEIJING, March 1 (Xinhua) -- Nearly one year after Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda apologized to Chinese consumers and vowed to ensure the quality of Toyota vehicles in March 2010, the Japanese car company made another recall announcement in China.
Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co. announced that it would recall 5,202 imported Lexus cars in China to fix a malfunctioning gas-pedal, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said on February 25.
Toyota's announcement of the recall plans in China came one day after the AQSIQ, China's quality watchdog, demanded an explanation from the Japanese carmaker regarding problems with the Lexus.
However, the belated recall raises concerns among Chinese consumers about the auto giant's credibility as its previous global recall plans tagged "ignore" to China.
Due to concerns over possible fuel leaks, Toyota Motors said on Jan. 26 that it would recall 1.7 million vehicles worldwide, including 1.28 million vehicles in Japan and 421,000 vehicles in the U.S., Britain, Germany and other markets. However, the recall did not involve China.
In response to inquiries from Chinese consumers, the company claimed that cars sold on the Chinese mainland did not use the same defective engines or accessories.
"As a Toyota car owner, I doubt the company's credibility. How can cars of the same type not have the same problem? How can Toyota treat Chinese consumers differently? It's disappointing that it failed to make an explanation," said a man surnamed Ye, who works in Shanghai.
Some even suspect that Toyota might cheat consumers during the previous global recalls from 2009 to 2010. During the period, Toyota recalled nearly 16 million defective cars, but only 800,000, or less than 0.5 percent, were from China.
Chinese consumers are sensitive to recall events. Recalls of any auto brand would worry the Chinese auto market because the industry lacks a strong supervision mechanism and car manufacturers have poor credibility.
Jia Xinguang, an independent auto industry analyst in Beijing, said that Toyota's reluctance to involve the Chinese market in its previous recall plans showed that Chinese consumers were in a weak position to protect their rights.
"Toyota has everything to itself. We all depend on the company to reveal the truth. Chinese consumers are very passive in taking legal actions in these matters," Jia said.
He said that, for years, quality disputes have been an issue between individuals and enterprises. The country's supervision over the auto market is relatively loose, compared to other countries.
As the world's largest auto market, China sold 13.64 million cars in 2009, while recalling only 1.36 million defective cars. The U.S., on the other hand, recalled 17.84 million vehicles, with new car sales at 10.43 million.
He urged the government to upgrade its regulations on recalling defective cars to ensure that consumers receive equal treatment.
Also, Toyota set its 2011 sales target in China only slightly higher at 910,000 vehicles, in an effort to rein in its excessive and sharp expansion that have caused problems within the company in recent years.
Its sales volume in China accounts for 10 percent of its total sales in the world. Last year, Toyota sold 846,000 vehicles in China.
Toyota's global sales in 2010 rose 8 percent to 8.42 million vehicles, just ahead of General Motors' 8.39 million. This makes Toyota the world's largest carmaker for the third straight year, said Toyota in January.
But it is the only carmaker that saw a decline in the U.S. auto market in 2010, with its growth rate down 0.4 percentage points from that of 2009.
Toyota recalls defective cars in China

BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) -- China's top quality watchdog said on Wednesday that Japanese carmaker Toyota and its joint venture companies will recall 61,459 vehicles in China from May 8.
The vehicles include 47,636 vehicles of the REIZ model produced between Nov. 16, 2005 and Aug. 10, 2010 by Tianjin FAW Toyota Motor and 13,752 HIGHLANDERS produced by the GAC Toyota Motor between May 27, 2009 and Aug. 31, 2010.
Furthermore, 71 imported HIGHLANDERS produced between March 30,2007 and Jan. 19, 2009 are also to be recalled, said the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
The recall was due to a problem with a spiral cable attached to an air-bag .
China announces Toyota recalls

BEIJING, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Toyota Motor (China) Investment Co. Ltd. will recall 48 Avalon vehicles from April 26 due to defective air bags, China's quality watchdog announced on Wednesday.
The recall covers Avalon vehicles produced between July 1, 2002 and May 6, 2003, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said.
The recall is triggered by insufficient electromagnetic wave resistance of the air bag ECU, which could cause air bag launch during driving or seat belt preloader error.
The company will repair affected cars' faulty parts free of charge.
China announces Toyota, Chrysler recalls
BEIJING, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- GAC-Toyota will recall nearly 9,400 Highlander vehicles from March 10 due to defective air bags, China's quality watchdog announced on Friday.
The recall covers Highlander vehicles produced between December 25, 2013 and February 11, 2014, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said.
The recall is due to a defects in assembly of the inflator and diffuser in side airbags, which could cause insufficient inflation.
The company will repair affected cars' faulty parts free of charge.

Toyota recalls 2,500 Lexus vehicles in Australia over safety concerns

SYDNEY, Sept. 5 (Xinhua)-- About 2,500 Lexus vehicles are being recalled across Australia as part of a global recall of Toyota cars due to glitches that could cause them to stop mid-journey, local media reported Thursday.
The Japanese automotive giant is recalling about 370,000 vehicles worldwide.
In Australia, about 1,750 RX400Hs built between 2006 and 2008 are being recalled amid concerns that its hybrid system may overheat while driving, resulting in damages that may cause the vehicle to stop.
Also, 750 Lexus IS350s built between April 2010 and July 2011 are involved in the recall due to concerns that bolts pinning a valve-control system inside the engine could come loose.
No accidents or injuries have been reported as a result of the problems.
Affected owners are being contacted and repairs will be completed free of charge.

Toyota recalls Lexus vehicles in China

BEIJING, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- China's leading quality watchdog said Toyota will recall 2,021 Lexus vehicles exported to the Chinese mainland, starting on Wednesday.
Toyota Motor China Investment Co., Ltd. will conduct the recall, involving Lexus RX400h models. The vehicles were produced between April 3, 2006 and Dec. 1, 2008, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said in a statement.
The recall is due to design flaws with the models' hybrid power system that could result in a blown fuse in the power supply circuit and cause driving failure, the statement said.
GAC-Toyota to recall over 2,000 Highlander vehicles
BEIJING, June 9 (Xinhua) -- GAC-Toyota will recall 2,097 Highlander vehicles due to defective air bags, China's leading quality supervisor said Sunday.
The recall covers Highlander vehicles produced between May 20 and 29, 2013, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said in a statement.
The recall is due to a defect in the way the inflator and diffusor in curtain shield air bags have been assembled, which could cause insufficient inflation.
Toyota to recall defective cars in China

BEIJING, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese automaker Toyota will recall some 4,400 units of FJ Cruiser cars in China over seat belt flaws, China's consumer quality watchdog said Saturday.
The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said on its website that Toyota China will recall these imported cars produced between December 2007 and March 2013.
Toyota is busy working on the solution to the flaw and will release improvement methods before April 15, according the administration.
This marks Toyota's second recalling this year after the auto giant announced in January that it would recall 22,869 units of Lexus IS cars in China due to wiper arm problem.
China's private auto ownership reached 93.09 million units by the end of 2012, up 18.3 percent year on year. Along with the fast expanding auto market, Chinese drivers grow more concerned about the quality of their cars.
To better protect the interests of Chinese consumers, the AQSIQ announced late last year that it would formulate a guideline to regulate a recall system for faulty cars.
Toyota to recall 160,000 autos in China

BEIJING, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) -- Japanese automaker Toyota will recall more than 160,000 RAV4 sport utility vehicles sold in China due to a problem with the vehicles' rear suspension, the country's consumer quality watchdog said Friday.
The recall will affect 13,474 vehicles produced between July 21, 2005 and Nov. 28, 2008, as well as 147,310 vehicles manufactured between Feb. 6, 2009 and Oct. 31, 2010, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ) said in a statement.
Nuts on the lower swing arms of the vehicles' rear suspension may become loose, causing adjusting levers to disconnect from the swing arms and cause safety risks, the statement said.
The company will replace any lower swing arms that are found to have loose nuts.
The recall will begin on Sept. 3.