TORONTO, Ontario, August 7, 2018 – Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) is taking a more assertive approach to persuading thousands of Toyota owners across the country to have their Takata airbag inflators replaced.
Worldwide recalls related to defective Takata airbag inflators have affected nearly every automaker. Using first class mail and, wherever possible, follow-up phone calls, TCI started reaching out to the owners Toyota vehicles in Canada impacted by the Takata recalls as early as 2013. To date, however, more than half of all owners have yet to respond to the company’s requests to have the inflators replaced.
Along with long term exposure to fluctuating high temperatures and environmental moisture, the risk of a defective Takata airbag inflator rupture increases with the amount of time a vehicle is in service. Since the involved vehicles may now be 10-15 years old, Toyota is taking more emphatic steps to get the attention of the vehicle owners and persuade them to bring their vehicles in for the free remedy.
The multi-channel campaign will include phone calls, e-mail and three increasingly insistent postcards to be sent to the known owners of the Toyota vehicles in Canada impacted by the Takata recalls. The company hopes the bright colours, blunt language and powerful images in the postcards will present a rationale that is too compelling to ignore.
“Canadians have not responded as quickly as we had hoped, so we’re looking to grab their attention,” says Stephen Beatty, Vice President, Corporate at TCI. “The greater the effectiveness of our campaign, the lower the risk of injury, so we’re working hard to have an impact.”
The age of the vehicles has also made it difficult for TCI to connect with current owners. Toyota vehicles typically hold their value longer than most other brands, so there is a very strong secondary market for them. For this reason, an involved vehicle may have had several ownership changes over the past 10 or 15 years. Since new owners of pre-owned vehicles don’t always register the change of ownership, it has proven difficult to connect with them. Toyota hopes this new campaign will reach them.
“We’re taking every step possible to identify the current owners of the vehicles,” Beatty added. “Once we know who they are, we can urge them to bring their vehicle in, so we’re using new methods to try to identify and engage them.”
Toyota is also reminding Canadians that they should always do two things when buying a pre-owned vehicle:
No matter who they purchase a pre-owned vehicle from, buyers should be sure to ask about its recall status.
New owners should register their name and contact information with the automaker’s Canadian customer relations department. This way, they’ll be connected to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and will receive important advisories about the vehicle.
For more information about Toyota vehicles impacted by the Takata airbag inflator recalls, customers can go to https://www.toyota.ca/toyota/en/my-toyota/recalls. Owners of impacted vehicles with additional questions are encouraged to call 1-888-570-1675.
Information about automotive recalls, including but not limited to the list of involved vehicles, is subject to change over time. For the most up-to-date Safety Recall information on Toyota and Lexus vehicles, customers should check their vehicle’s status by visiting toyota.ca/recall or lexus.ca/recall and entering the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
Manager, Corporate Communications
Toyota Canada Inc.