Toyota customers in the UAE are unlikely to be affected by the quality problems in the accelerator pedal of certain Toyota's models that have led to massive global recalls, its local dealer Al Futtaim Motors told Emirates Business yesterday even as the company ran adverts, in co-ordination with the Ministry of National Economy, for a service campaign of the said models.
"Because of the difference in climatic conditions here in the UAE, we have been advised by Toyota Motor Corporation that our customers are unlikely to be affected and have no reason for undue concern," said Simon Frith, Managing Director, Al Futtaim Motors.
Al Futtaim was implementing a service campaign from February 24 to check for any possible defaults, and that the number of such cars was just 3,000. "The number of vehicles potentially involved is expected to be about 3,000 cars, which is less than one per cent of our sales," he said.
"We have made the decision to implement a service campaign to ensure our customers' peace of mind and trust in the Toyota brand. We have been liasing very closely with Toyota Motor Corporation and the Ministry of Economy since the initial announcement was made in the US. All parties are agreed on the implementation of the service campaign in the UAE," he added.
Frith denied any cars being "recalled" from the market and Al Futtaim has called the campaign as one limited to mere servicing of the cars.
"These models are not being withdrawn from the market, we are inviting existing owners to make a service appointment to implement the updates where necessary and do not anticipate that every vehicle will require this remedy," said Frith.
Due to the massive recall of the cars in the US, there have been reports that Toyata may be considering extended warranties for US customers. However, no such move is planned for customers in the UAE or the GCC. "We have not received any indication from Toyota Motor Corporation to extend warranties on models in the UAE. However, in line with the UAE Ministry of Economy laws, the parts fitted will have a warranty for six months from the date of installation,' said the Al Futtaim Motors official.
For those with affected models, "the service will take 30 minutes to complete across all of our service centres in the UAE".
The campaign is for the Avalon from model years 2005 to 2010 and Sequoia from model years 2009 to 2010 only. "Out of the eight Toyota models affected... only two of the models are sold in the UAE through Al Futtaim Motors. These are the Avalon from model years 2005 to 2010 and Sequoia from model years 2009 to 2010," said Frith.
"We urge all Avalon and Sequoia owners in the UAE, regardless of their original place of purchase, to contact our customer care team to make an appointment at the earliest," stressed Frith.
No complaints at Dubai's consumer watchdog
No complaints have been received by Dubai's consumer watchdogs from Toyota owners following the announcement of a massive recall of cars around the world.
Officials have discussed the issue with the dealer – and a number of faulty cars have been found, Abdulla Mohammed Al Shehi, Commercial Protection Director of the Department of Economic Development's Commercial Complaints and Consumer Protection Division, told Emirates Business. "We did not receive any specific complaints from customers about these vehicles," he said. "We have co-operated with the Ministry of Economy. There was a meeting with agency representatives. I believe it has happened in other emirates, too.
"We receive regular complaints from customers about the after-sales service provided by automobile dealers. In the latest recall case we haven't received any specific consumer complaints about the vehicles involved. "We help agencies and check fake spare parts with the help of the Dubai Municipality and Dubai Police. There is a strong consumer protection law and if a complaint is not settled amicably it can be shifted to the courts," said Al Shehi.
Consumer complaints about car dealers were the second most common after electronic gadgets. (VM Sathish)
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