Recalled Toyotas can still be driven - expert

21:33, Apr 09 2014

Owners of the Toyota vehicles recalled yesterday do not need to stop driving them, a motoring expert says.

Toyota announced yesterday what was one of the largest global recalls in the automotive industry.

Motoring Writers' Guild president David Linklater told TVNZ's Breakfast show the recall was so large because it was actually five recalls in one.

"There have been five separate recalls issued at the same time, which means you have five separate issues on this recall," he said.

"That's why it's so many vehicles.

"The other issue is the way that Toyota builds cars, it's very good at building cars efficiently which means it shares components across a number of different cars.

People did not need to panic and stop driving their Toyotas immediately as the company "was not describing it as an emergency situation", Linklater said.

The damage to Toyota's global reputation was huge, Linklater said.

"It is of course a brand that's built it's reputation on being ultra-reliable," he said.

"Toyota's share price dropped by 3 per cent when this was announced yesterday."

It was another large recall for the Japanese car company.

In 2009, 10 million of its vehicles had to be recalled because of unintended acceleration - only 60 of those were in New Zealand.

It was recently fined US$1.2 billion (NZ$1.39b) for not acting quickly enough on that issue.

Toyota New Zealand customer services manager Spencer Morris estimated about 30,000 to 40,000 New Zealanders would be affected by yesterday's recall, which he described as a precautionary step.

He said there had been no reported accidents or incidents related to any of the recalls.

"While we do apologise for any concern and inconvenience caused to our customers," he said.

"Toyota is ensuring any possible quality issues are addressed before problems arise. In every case the remedy is free of charge to customers."

Anyone concerned about their vehicle can contact Toyota New Zealand on 0800 TOYOTA or contact their dealer.

The issues for the recall and cars involved are as follows:

Spiral cable

- Certain RAV4, Prado and Hilux vehicles produced between June 2004 and December 2010 and sold as new in New Zealand are affected by a spiral cable recall. This affects 200,000 vehicles in Oceania, and Toyota New Zealand staff are working to identify every New Zealand vehicle affected. The spiral cable is installed in the steering column to connect steering wheel-mounted electrical systems.

Seat rail

- 7506 Yaris cars produced between January 2005 and August 2010 and sold New Zealand new are affected by a seat-rail recall. There is potential for the springs used in the seat locking mechanism to break if the seat is adjusted very frequently. This also affects 6153 imported Vitz, Ist, Belta and Ractis vehicles.

Steering column bracket

- 100 Yaris cars with tilt/telescopic steering adjustment, produced between September 2005 and February 2009, are affected. 1037 used imported Ractis and Ist are also affected.

Imported vehicle recall:

Drain outlet

- 993 imported Toyota Ractis vehicles are affected by a recall relating to possible clogging of drain outlets in the cowl top reinforcement directly under the wiper motor mounting area.