If news about recalls can’t bring Toyota sales in China to their knees, maybe insurance premiums will.
The Nikkei [sub] reports from China that insurance premiums on Toyotas have recently risen by as much as 40 percent. Insurance premiums are going up everywhere in China. No wonder, considering that more than 100,000 die a year on China’s roads, and about half a million are wounded. But Toyota premiums are rising particularly sharply.
Now, read what those premiums are, and cry. The annual premium on a standard 90,000 yuan ($13177) damage policy for a Toyota has risen to 2,000 yuan ($292). Per year.
In related news, Chinese drivers must have followed the Senate hearings closely. Peoples’ Daily reports that Chinese owners of recalled RAV4 feel discriminated. “In the US, the company provides door-to-door service to consumers involved in the recall,” tells the paper to the astonished masses. When drivers bring in recalled vehicles themselves, “the company offers transportation reimbursements and a loaner car of the same model.” No such luck in China. “On some online forums, many RAV4 owners are discussing the possibility of filing a class action suit in China against Toyota,” says Peoples’ Daily. Again, they must have picked-up that term from the press. There is no such thing as a class action suit in China. According to the New York Times, “the ruling Communist Party discourages the filing of lawsuits with multiple plaintiffs, saying that such lawsuits could disrupt social stability.”
The classical class action suit remains a predominantly American phenomenon. Some countries allow groups (comprised of individuals, or certain organizations) to bring suit. Most countries don’t allow class action or mass action suits.