Toyota Vietnam to recall cars with technical flaws for repairs

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Toyota Vietnam on Thursday announced a voluntary recall of vehicles to solve technical problems which it admitted could be found in nearly 9,000 cars on the domestic market.

The carmaker said this is only a recall for repairs, which means a refund option is not available at this moment.

No further details have been issued on when the repair program starts and how the technical flaws will be fixed.

The recall announcement came nearly one week after the company said that around 8,830 Innova model cars suffered from technical flaws.

Officials from Toyota Vietnam, including Production Manager Tadashi Yoshida, admitted that there were problems with the brake systems, camber bolts and seats. Some 200 cars, for instance, may have been released into the market with braking systems that are more responsive than usual. Others have bolts and seats that were not installed properly.

The carmaker, however, declined to issue a recall at the time, upsetting many consumers.

Do Huu Duc, deputy general director of the Vietnam Register, told Thanh Nien on Thursday that the quality control agency hails Toyota Vietnam for its recall decision which shows that the company "has realized its responsibility to Vietnamese consumers."

However, authorities will continue their investigation into the case, he said.

"The fact that Toyota Vietnam has agreed to fix the problems and the investigation by authorities are not related," he said. "It doesn't mean they just fix the flaws and we will give them a free pass."

Duc said that in this case "the enterprise has violated quality standards, selling substandard products to consumers."

The Vietnam Register is responsible for the technical supervision of vehicle manufacturers. Earlier this week Duc told Thanh Nien that his agency cannot run a full check on each and every vehicle. Manufacturers of automobiles and motorbikes are required to submit a model that all mass-produced copies are based on.

"If the manufacturer makes products that are not exactly the same as the approved model, they must take responsibility," he said.

Engineer Le Van Tach, who helped expose the issue, was quoted by the Tuoi Tre newspaper on Friday as saying it would not be easy to fix the problems with the brake systems and the camber bolts.

The engineer, who is still employed by Toyota Vietnam, said repair shops of the company are not capable of dealing with the flaws, adding that more personnel training and new equipment were needed for the purpose.

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