Motorists in Northern Ireland appear to have escaped relatively unscathed from the Toyota debacle — although the delivery of a small number of new cars has been suspended.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said Toyota was not among the 10 most popular brands. Data for 2008, for example, shows there were 2,117,873 new cars registered in the UK, of which only 63,186 (or around 3%) were made by Toyota.
At Charles Hurst, Northern Ireland’s biggest Toyota dealership, just a few motorists are believed to be affected by faulty vehicles.
General manager Adrian Devitt said that, of the 52,000 cars sold here in 2009, only 3,800 were Toyotas, representing 7% of the market share.
“Not even a handful of customers have had their new car deliveries delayed until a recall is effected,” Mr Devitt said.
“And that’s just a precautionary measure we’re taking as these cars may have a fault. We’re being over cautious.”
Mr Devitt said that the Belfast-based dealership has had no complaints from its customers so far.
Patricia Latham, from Ballymena, who bought a Toyota Auris in July 2009 — which falls into the danger zone — said she hadn’t had any problems.
“I haven’t yet been contacted by Toyota,” the mother-of-one said.
“This hasn’t put me off driving my car as I’ve always found it to be reliable enough.”
Toyota came fourth in the JD Power survey of the top 10 most reliable car manufacturers in 2009.
But to make matters worse for the beleaguered car firm, a separate problem affecting the brakes in its ground-breaking Prius hybrid models has been identified by customers in both the US and Japan.
Models affected by recall
Aygo (Feb 2005-Aug 2009)
Corolla (Oct 2006-Dec 2009)
iQ (Nov 2008-Nov 2009)
Verso (Feb 2009-Jan 5, 2010)
Yaris (Nov 2005-Sep 2009)
Avensis (Nov 2008-Dec 2009)
Auris (Oct 2006-Jan 5, 2010)
Recall information for UK customers is available on the Toyota website at www.toyota.co.uk/recall
Are you affected by the Toyota recall? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org