Don’t panic, say Toyota mechanics

There is no need for South African car owners to panic because of Toyota's worldwide vehicle recall, the car manufacturer said on Thursday.

“It's not a case where motorists must stop driving and bring in their vehicle immediately,” Toyota SA spokesman Leo Kok said in Johannesburg.

Possible problem ara: The driver's door panel on a 2007 Toyota Auris.

“We are currently going through our database and running a check to match vehicle identity numbers, and should have a better idea of numbers later today.

“All affected vehicle owners will be contacted and there is definitely no cause for panic.”

Kok said any drivers who were not the original owners of the vehicle were also welcome to contact the call centre if they were concerned.


Worldwide, 7.4 million vehicles would be recalled for the incorrectly applied lubrication on the master switch on the driver's door, that controls the electric windows.

“The main switch was not properly lubricated in the manufacturing process,” Kok explained.

“If the lubrication was not applied correctly it can carbonise and dry out. The special fluorine grease which we will use to re-lubricate the switches is being flown in from overseas, as we speak.”

In the worst-case scenario, a switch could spark, which may cause some smoke, but it was more likely to malfunction or stick.

“We are viewing it as an international service campaign where owners can take their vehicles to their nearest dealer and sit and have a cup of coffee while the switch is either re-lubricated or, if damaged, replaced.”

There would be no cost to owners and warranties would not be affected.

Vehicles likely to be recalled were specific models of the Corolla, Yaris, Auris, Camry and Rav4, manufactured at plants in China, Japan and the Philippines.

Kok said it varied between the different countries, but the widest net was for models manufactured between 2005 and 2009. - Sapa