Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Toyota Recalls: Maybe 2017
If you have been following the international news, you would think Toyota has just started WWIII after recalling millions of cars because of a sticky gas pedal problem.
The car making giant has even stopped selling eight models in the United States and Canada, including its popular Camry and Corolla, because of possible unintended acceleration.
This story is likely to make Toyota drop the "ota" in their name and start making toys!
The media is furious and is constantly updating the story, how Toyota's stocks have plummeted ever since that story hit the headlines early this week. There seems to be chaos and confusion. Apart from this part of the world.
In Kenya, that story has not even graced the news pages and is tucked away somewhere in the international news columns. But there is a reason for this, Kenyans and most of Africa don't buy their cars from the show rooms.
The few who do are yet to save enough to buy the 2009 model, which is most affected by the pedal problem. If anything Toyota Kenya has since issued a statement that no recalls will be done in Kenya. I wonder why?
The rest of the population rely on imports from Japan and the "newest" model you will get is probably the 2003 one because of the seven-year-and-below rule on importing a car to Kenya.
So going by that projection, we will experience the gas pedal problem in 2017! By then, the rest of the world will be grappling with another problem, the "personal eye reader" which is used to start the car might be causing blindness.
And I doubt people would even blame Toyota, they would imagine it's only their car that has the problem and proceed to the "mechanic capital of Kenya" on River Road and have it fixed by a "Kinuthia or Moha" and that story wouldn't even make it to the media.
The other problem would be a typical Kenyan having to return their car and remain "carless". That never happens to my fellow citizens. "Why can't I just take it to the mech and have it fixed on a Saturday afternoon while I am at the pub?" Many would ask.
Can you imagine a recall of the Vitz? Do they have gas pedals or do you just pedal away like a bicycle?
Think people are worried about the Toyota recall? Nope. Even if it happened in Kenya, only ten people would be affected. Now if that recall were to happen to the recently purchased government VW Passats, then we would have a problem although the procurement dudes in government would get paid to let the problem "go away".
But if a story would surface about a problem with the 2003 models, Lord help us, Toyota would have the gas pedal stuck on the floor hurtling towards doomsday!