10 February 2013

Nigerians Ignorant of Toyota's Recall of One Million Cars

Toyota is recalling over one million cars around the world for faulty airbags and defective windshield wipers but many Nigerians are either unaware of this development or they are simply unperturbed.

The company is now recalling 907,000 cars, mostly Corolla due to airbags that can improperly inflate when the vehicle's electronic signals damage a chip in the part that controls the air bags.

As part of the air bag recall, Toyota is recalling some 752,000 Corolla and Corolla Matrix cars in the U.S., about 141,000 vehicles in Canada and thousands of similar vehicles in Japan and Mexico that were manufactured between December 2001 and May 2004. The part will be corrected to be able to block damaging signals, said Fuse.

According to the company, the second recall impossible to operate 2006 through 2012 model year Lexus IS luxury sedans. The problem here is defective windshield wipers that may become inoperable. In the U.S., the safety recall involves 270,000 Lexus IS sedans.

The troubling part is that many of these cars found their way into Nigeria. How have Nigerians as a whole responded to the news?

We took a trip to one of Elizade Motors's outlets to find out what they are doing about it, but to our surprise, this company has not heard about the recall order.

The staff who attended to us, Sunday Archiobong Etuk, knew nothing about this development.

Fasasi Abdullahi, a car dealer in Mile 2 area of Lagos was dumbfounded when he was confronted with the fact that Toyota in the United States of America has recalled some brands of the automobile there.

To the 52-year-old man, the recall theory has neither affected his turnover rate nor reduced the number of his customers in recent time.

He said, "I've just heard this recall story from you. My supplier has not informed me of recall of any Toyota brand lately.

"I took delivery of some units of Toyota last week and none of my customers complained of a defect on them."

Another car dealer in Ogudu area of Lagos, Tony Aziogu, told our correspondent that he was not aware that Toyota recalled some of its brands in the United States America.

According to him, he has nothing to worry about since his supplier did not import brands from the affected countries.

But Edmond Sola, a businessman in Surulere said the Toyota Corolla he imported into the country recently is among the recalled ones.

"The airbag has some fault but that has not affected the mobility of the car and other functions therein. I still enjoy it."

Toyota had recently announced that it will conduct two separate safety recalls involving a total of approximately 1.02million vehicles in the United States for problems with potentially defective airbags and windshield wipers.

A Toyota spokesman's statement to the Associated Press that was reported in The Detroit News and other media outlets, said there have been 18 injuries in the U.S. related to the airbag issue, along with two crashes.

"Here, the issue is that the front wiper arm may not be sufficiently tight. Heavy snow that builds up on the windshield could restrict wiper movement to the extent that one or both wipers could become inoperative.

There have been no reported injuries or accidents involving the defective wipers, it said.

But Toyota said owners of 2003 and 2004 Toyota Corolla and Corolla Matrix small cars and 2006 through 2012 Lexus IS luxury sedans involved in the safety recall will receive letters via first-class mail "in the near future." They will be instructed to take their vehicles to any authorized Toyota or Lexus dealer for repairs, which will be performed at no charge.

Spokesperson of Toyota Nigeria Limited, Mrs Bukunola Ogunnusi didn't respond to our calls on whether the recall will affect Nigeria.

An auto expert, Victor Robert, however told us that the recall will not affect Nigeria. He said, "Toyota Nigeria does not import from U.S. and so the recall will not affect Toyota brands in the country. I think Toyota Nigeria imports from Japan."

With Agency Report

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