18 Feb 2010

Toyota says Corolla recall unlikely to affect NZ

6:43 pm on 18 February 2010

Toyota says a possible problem with Corolla steering systems in the United States unlikely to affect cars in New Zealand.

The Japanese vehicle maker is looking at a potential recall of the world's top-selling car, pending an investigation in the US into about 100 complaints about its power steering system.

Toyota has recalled 8.5 million vehicles worldwide recently because of problems linked to faulty accelerator pedals, accelerator pedals getting stuck in floor mats, and braking systems.

Toyota New Zealand is seeking clarification from Japan, but after-sales general manager Paul Carroll says the chances of a problem in this country are extremely slim.

Mr Carroll says the Corollas sold in New Zealand are assembled in Japan, while those sold in the US are assembled there.

However, he says the company's brand is undoubtedly being damaged and Toyota needs to do much better at building cars and communicating issues with customers.

The Corolla is the top-selling brand in New Zealand and Toyota says owners will be informed on any developments.

Meanwhile, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has ordered an investigation into Toyota's recalls.

Toyota denied any cover-up and said it would "co-operate to provide all the information they have requested" on the inquiry.