NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 12 – Toyota East Africa on Friday announced that close to 570 of its cars in Kenya were to be inspected following concerns of faulty accelerator pedals.
This latest development comes less than a week after Toyota East Africa assured its customers that the cars were not part of the ongoing worldwide recall for some of its affected models.
The directive came from Toyota Motor Corporation Japan to have all new generation Corollas manufactured between November 2007 and January 2010 to undergo evaluation.
Making the announcement, Toyota East Africa Managing Director Hylton Bannon said word from Toyota headquarters indicated that several models could require correction on their accelerator pedals.
“Within this week we have been asked by Toyota Motor Corporation Japan to carry out a special service camping on the new generation corolla to inspect only the accelerator pedal mechanism. There is a possibility that some of these vehicles may have a mechanism that is affected,” Mr Bannon said.
Mr Bannon explained that wear combined with certain operating conditions in the mechanism might result in accelerator pedals being harder to depress, slower to return or in the worst-case scenario, stick in a partially open position.
He called on all those who bought the new Corolla models from Toyota between November 2007 and January this year to take their cars to Toyota centers across the country for scrutiny.
“In Kenya, we have started to carry out a special service campaign in which we are contacting our customers directly to bring their cars for inspection where we will be able to rectify the problem if detected,” he said.
Toyota vehicles sold by the East African arm are manufactured in Japan and South Africa.
Mr Bannon said the inspection was linked to the recent recall of 53,000 cars in South Africa to repair accelerator and brake problems.
“Toyota South Africa is running a special service campaign on the new Corollas. What they are recalling are some models that are not sold in East Africa,” he said.
Toyota models sourced from South Africa include the Corolla, Hilux and the Fortuner.
The MD was however at pains to explain the difference between the service campaign and the ongoing recalls saying: “In some countries around the world there is a legal requirement to do a recall. A recall is when you are ordered by government under law to do recall vehicles in this case we are only doing a special service campaign.”
According to Toyota, the problem boils down to the manufacture of accelerator pedals from multiple suppliers. The world’s leading car manufacturer however says it has isolated the condition to a specific supplier.