Toyota recalls 19,000 cars in UK 26 | 01 | 2011

    TOYOTA'S WOES have continued with news that it to recall 1.7 million vehicles worldwide — nearly 19,000 cars in the UK and hundreds across Scotland — due to potential problems with fuel systems. Cars at risk in the UK include hundreds of Toyota Avensis and Lexus IS 250 models which run the risk of fuel leaks if they are not modified by mechanics.

    Thankfully, the company confirmed there were no known accidents related to the defect. However, the faults are the latest in a series of quality control problems to have hit the manufacturer which has now been forced to recall nearly 16 million cars since late 2009.

    The latest news dealt another significant blow to Toyota's efforts to restore its reputation for quality. Although the situation is different from last year, when Toyota attracted intense scrutiny from U.S. safety regulators over unintended acceleration problems that were blamed for dozens of fatalities, the latest recall may make it harder for Toyota to convince investors it has put its quality problems behind it.

    Toyota GB officials say they are writing to the owners to arrange free repairs — involving replacing the fuel pump and fuel pump check valve — which are expected to take up to four-and-a-half hours.

    The 15,500 owners of Toyota Avensis 2.0-litre and 2.4-litre petrol engine models, produced between July 2000 and September 2008, are eligible for the repair. Another 3100 UK-registered Lexus IS 250 petrol engine vehicles, produced between August 2007 and February 2009, are also affected.

    "We are committed to putting the customer first and have a total focus on the quality of all our products," Jon Williams, managing director of Toyota GB, said today. "We will liaise with our customers to carry out the repair procedures as efficiently as possible, with minimal disruption."

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    Jim McGill

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