Toyota Vietnam technical flaws spark public outrage

Published: 05/04/2011 05:00



VietNamNet Bridge
- Toyota Vietnam drew broad public criticism
after it refused to recall nearly 9,000 cars that it admitted to have technical

Meanwhile, a company engineer who helped expose the flaws to
local authorities told Thanh Nien that there must be more faulty cars on the

Toyota Vietnam on
Friday admitted that nearly 9,000 Innova model cars suffered from technical
flaws, but said a recall would not be necessary.

Officials from the company, including Production Manager
Tadashi Yoshida, said around 8,830 of the cars may have problems with their
brake systems, screws or their seats.

Some 200 cars, for instance, may have been released to the
market with braking systems that are more responsive than usual.

Toyota Vietnam
announced that the cars would not be recalled. They described the technical
flaws as minor and alleged that they would not affect driver safety. The
company also said they had yet to receive a customer complaint about the

Many readers called or wrote to Thanh Nien on Saturday,
calling for an immediate recall of the vehicles. Many alleged that the company
did not respect Vietnamese consumers.

“Does it mean that the safety of the Vietnamese people is
not a matter of concern to Toyota Vietnam? They
know (about the flaws) but they’ve decided to ignore everything,” an email

“Mr. Yoshida said there would be no recall because there
have been no complaints. So, does that mean he wants to wait for complaints and
accidents to happen and then recall the cars or what?” another reader in Ho Chi
Minh City asked.

The case came to public attention after engineer Le Van Tach
submitted documents to the Vietnam Register, a quality control agency,
demonstrating three major problems with the company’s Innova and Fortuner

Tach, who is still employed by Toyota
said he has been telling company managers about the problems for years. He
claimed no one heeded his concerns. Tach further alleged that the cars made in Vietnam face
balance issues since their screws are not tightened in accordance with
directives issued by the Japanese parent company.

He pointed out that the brake systems and seats do not meet Toyota’s safety
standards, either.

In an interview with Thanh Nien, on Saturday, the engineer
praised Toyota Vietnam’s officials for their
acknowledgment of the flaws. But Tach said he was “disappointed” because the
officials withheld information and even gave out wrong information.

The engineer said around 60,000 flawed vehicles had been
sold by the company. As these cars were made on the same production line, it’s
impossible that only some cars had the flaws while others did not, he said.

Tach also objected to the decision to treat the flaws
lightly and not to recall the cars, calling it “absurd.”

“When a car is made, the designers create standards that
every single product must meet,” he said.

Toyota is the largest
carmaker in Vietnam.
It sold 2,223 units in February. Innova, in particular, is a popular model in
the country, used widely by many taxi companies.

Source: Thanh
Nien/Tuoi Tre

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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