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Toyota suspected of selling substandard parts in China

Toyota is suspected of selling more than 1,700 kinds of substandard auto parts to China, according to a recent news report from People’s Daily

The spare parts in question were found on March 18 in two FAW-Toyota 4S stores in Yiwu City of Zhejiang Province in east China during a store inspection by the local industrial and commercial administration. Over 1,700 kinds of auto parts inspected in the stockrooms of these two 4S dealerships were found without qualification certificates and inspection reports.

Investigations show that the auto parts in these two 4S stores are supplied from a Toyota parts center, and that most parts warehoused by the center to be shipped to all 4S stores did not have certificates, either. The discovery raises questions of Toyota violating Chinese laws.

Earlier in January, Toyota announced that it would recall more than 75,000 RAV4 vehicles in China due to an accelerator pedal stuck, 10 percent of which were in Zhejiang Province. After talking with officials in Zhejiang Province to respond to a notice issued by the local government regarding consumer rights protection in Toyota’s vehicle recall, Toyota agreed to compensate local customers for its recalled RAV4 vehicles immediately.

Now about 250 RAV4 owners in Zhejiang Province have reportedly received a compensation of ¥300 ($44) on average, either in cash or coupons, from Toyota to cover expenses incurred in the recall.    

“Though ¥300 is not much, it symbolizes our victory in consumer rights protection as Chinese consumers had never before been compensated for car recalls,” said Chen Feijun, a RAV4 owner who had filed complaints to urge for compensation. He accepted a ¥300 coupon and used it on repair services the same day.

Toyota has promised to complete repair of defected vehicles in China by the end of April while compensating for recalls nationwide. Insiders say that it might cost Toyota ¥20 million were the company to apply the compensation to all Chinese consumers.   

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