Toyota owners get recall compensation

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, April 8, 2010
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So far, 251 Toyota owners in east China's Zhejiang Province have received compensation from the Japanese automaker to cover expenses incurred in January's recall.

An average of 300 yuan (43.9 U.S.dollars) was offered to RAV4 owners either in cash or through coupons, said the Zhejiang Provincial Administration for Industry and Commerce Wednesday.

Last Monday, a Toyota delegation agreed after talking with authorities of Zhejiang Province to compensate customers of its RAV4 vehicles in accordance with Zhejiang's regulations on consumer rights protection, the first of its kind in the country.

"Although 300 yuan is not much, it symbolizes our victory in rights protection as Chinese consumers have never been compensated for car recalls," said Chen Feijun, a RAV4 owner who had filed complaints to Zhejiang's consumer protection authority, asking Toyota to cover his recall expenses incurred in transportation and absence from work.

Chen Sunday accepted Toyota's offer of a 300-yuan coupon and used it for services of vehicle maintenance the same day.

Zhejiang is the only Chinese province that has legislation that companies should compensate customers for car recalls.

Local experts assumed that if Toyota applied the compensation plan to all Chinese consumers, it would cost the auto giant 20 million yuan.

Headed by Hideki Nagae, vice general manager of FAW Toyota Motor Sales Co. Ltd., a Sino-Japanese joint venture, the Toyota delegation also agreed to accelerate the recall, offer substitute vehicles and return purchase deposit.

To live up to its promise, Toyota has started providing door-to-door recall service in Zhejiang. It has so far finished fixing 90 percent of the recalled cars, offered 32 customers with substitute vehicles, and returned purchase deposit to 68 customers who had canceled purchase of the RAV4 vehicles, said the administration.

Toyota announced in January that it would recall more than 75,000 RAV4 vehicles in China due to an accelerator pedal problem, and almost 10 percent of the vehicles recalled were in Zhejiang.

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