Peter Shervington, expert in product liability at Eversheds, has commented on the news that Toyota is recalling 6.4 million of its range, including 35,124 in the UK, over five separate issues.
Shervington said: ‘For any manufacturer, undertaking a consumer recall is a major step — the direct costs of contacting vehicle owners, disseminating information through dealer networks and informing regulatory authorities around the world are substantial. In the long run, the impact on brand image, morale and investor confidence can be very much greater.
He added that this is another in a ‘long line of high-profile recalls that Toyota has had to undertake since the notorious floormat/hybrid system issues that sparked three recalls in quick succession in 2009 and 2010’, and that each announcement ‘puts another dent’ in Toyota’s efforts to recover its reputation
‘That no injuries or fatalities have been reported to date will be of little comfort to Toyota, particularly given the safety-critical nature of some of the aspects involved — not least airbag functionality and the fact that fires have been reported in connection with the starter motor problem,’ said Shervington.
‘No doubt serious questions are being asked within Toyota, its dealer network and among the regulatory authorities as to how further safety risks have slipped through the net.’