Toyota Corolla India - Worse times?

18/02/2010 - 04:44 | ,  ,  ,   | Anish

Toyota Corolla Altis sold in India

Ok, we are so near to hearing the worst news for the automotive world.  Toyota is very close to announcing a recall of the Corolla in US, which is plagued by steering problems. So much for the best selling car in the world.

Now, what puts me off is why do these things never impact the cars sold in India? No, I'm not trying to brew a storm, I'm just playing devil's advocate. Why should I agree with Toyota, when they say -

The Indian operations do not have any issues and we have different suppliers here,

the Corolla sedan was assembled in India and the suppliers were from the Asian region. The suppliers are from Thailand and Japan, and these do not have any issues.

The defects, if any, were in parts supplied from vendors in North American region

My hypothesis is simple. As an average person, I would only expect the steering components to be similar for the Corolla, irrespective of the geography where it is sold. Of course, the left/right hand drive is a visible difference and the specifications associated with it, but the overall components specifications may not necessarily be different. It does not make business sense otherwise. Do I need to believe that the Corolla sold in India was developed specifically for the Indian market with every component in it being newly developed or designed?

If I go by Toyota's statement, the component supplies for the Indian Corollas come from suppliers in Thailand and Japan. What study has Toyota conducted to rule out the similarity in components (steering components doubted faulty in US) supplied by US and Asian suppliers? How can Toyota confidently say that the Indian Corollas do not have any issues?

I am eagerly waiting to see if Toyota announces a Corolla recall in Japan. If that happens, then I would certainly raise the flag on the Indian Corollas. I only wish the Indian customer is not ignored (as Corolla is hugely successful here). It is time for the Indian customer to start questioning such statements. If not the masses, at least the high end customer.

I am waiting to see if Toyota announces a "Manufactured prior to" date for the recalls? Now, if a date is announced, it has other implications. What happens to cars that were manufactured after that "Date"? Is it to say that Toyota was aware of the problem earlier and have fixed it on cars manufactured after this date? I would not be the only one asking these questions. The US congress would ask as well. And its time, the Indian customer starts paying attention too.

Source - Times of India

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