David Prosser: Toyota needs to speed up

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The Independent Online

Outlook There is growing concern that Toyota's international recall of cars with a faulty accelerator problem may damage the giant auto maker's reputation for quality and reliability. Probably so, but the hit would be much smaller if Toyota handled this affair better. All companies run into trouble from time to time – the test is how they respond to their difficulties.

From the perspective of British drivers, Toyota has been less than convincing. As of yesterday, it is not clear how many of them are potentially at risk from the accelerator problem. For anyone with a car that might be affected, certainty is the one thing they now need – and Toyota has not yet been able to provide that.

Britons will also wonder why Toyota announced product recalls in the US before making a similar move in Europe. The same problem seems to affect cars on both sides of the Atlantic, so why should European drivers be left worrying about their safety for longer than their American counterparts?

Note too the failure of the company's top brass in Japan to speak to their European customers. British drivers could be forgiven for assuming their silence reflects the fact that cars made in Japan don't seem to be included in any of the recalls.

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