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‘Toyota does not compromise about safety’

Toyota recently recalled over a hundred thousand of its Lexus model cars across many different regions for fuel leak related problems. This was preceded by the much talked about recalls from 2009-11 when millions of cars were recalled.

For Bangladeshi buyers and users of Toyota vehicles, the recall process is done through the official dealer Navana Toyota. “Navana is the distributor since 1964. Toyota sends to us a list for particular models. Let’s say a microbus model was chosen. We carry out checking of that models and change the specific equipment free of cost,” said Atiqur Rahman Sazib, the Senior Assistant Manager of Marketing at Navana Toyota.

Sazib says that the recall process is not well understood in Bangladesh. “Five years ago the recall created quite a stir. Many newspapers reported that Toyota recalled seven lakh cars. And that gave rise to speculations, as people didn’t really know what that meant,” he said.

“Recall is basically when the manufacturer rectify any flaw in the product by providing a specialized service,” said the Assistant General Manager of Navana Toyota, Abu Syed Chowdhury. “Companies normally prioritize safety issues in recalls. These are done in different countries through the distributors. So, in Bangladesh Toyota does that through us, as we are the sole distributor,” Chowdhury told Fintech.

Sazib said that because people don’t understand how the recall works they think of that as a negative thing. “Seven lakh cars were not ‘returned’, as many people thought. If Toyota detects a serious fault then it recalls the cars from that batch. That means the buyers get calls from Toyota and they are informed that they will get a replacement for a part, free of cost,” he explained.

“But we don’t have recalls that much, certainly a lot less compared to the past. Sometimes Toyota anticipates a problem and carries out a recall in advance, just to be safe for the future. Toyota is absolutely uncompromising when it comes to ensuring safety,” Abu Syed Chowdhury said.

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