Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) appreciates the support demonstrated for our brand and products during the APA's annual review of the auto industry news conference on March 24, 2010.
However, there are some apparent misunderstandings contained in the media materials prepared by the APA that we feel we must address:
1. With reference to the understanding that TCI has no engineers available in Canada to investigate field reports of sudden acceleration is in error. For many years, Toyota Canada has had dedicated field technical engineers located across the country who routinely investigate consumer complaints and quality concerns. In addition, Toyota Canada hosts specialized engineering staff who are dedicated to investigating cold weather issues. Toyota has been testing pre-production and prototype vehicles since 1974 and opened its own Timmins, Ontario facility in 1998.
2. The APA stated that Toyota failed to inform the government it was possible to download data from vehicles in question is in error. Prior to March 2010, Toyota Canada did not have an Electronic Data Recorder (EDR) read-out tool in order to carry out such analysis. Only one read out tool was available in North America and that was a prototype in the US. However, TCI did assist Transport Canada to read out EDR data using that prototype read out tool. Earlier this month, TCI provided Transport Canada with a read out tool it could use to aid in its safety investigations and to help evaluate vehicle performance during a collision. However, the EDR is not the only means of retrieving vehicle information. There are other diagnostic tools used to assess vehicle performance. TCI has always responded to requests from Transport Canada with information pertaining to vehicle defects.
3. TCI routinely receives dealer communications regarding consumer complaints and in turn these complaints are investigated by TCI. Accordingly, we were very surprised at the suggestion that our dealers may not have recorded early reports of unintended acceleration complaints from consumers. If there are customer complaints, we want to know about them so we can investigate to ensure we are meeting all customer needs.
For further information related to recent TCI recalls, please visit media.toyota.ca.