By on April 2, 2010

A few days ago, we reported that Toyota had caved in to demands of the Commerce Bureau and the Consumer Protection Committee of China’s Zhejiang Province. Under the agreement, Toyota will reimburse Zhejiang customers for losses sustained from the RAV4 recall. Toyota will send people to pick up and deliver the affected vehicles, and will provide a loaner while the car is in the shop. The whole thing was started by New York’s AG Andrew Cuomo who strong-armed Toyota into supplying similar services to recall-affected residents of the Empire State. The Zhejiang-accord had The Nikkei [sub] worried: “Such an agreement could lead to demands for similar deals from customers in not only other provinces, but also other countries.” It didn’t take long.

China Daily reports that the deal in Zhejiang ”aroused anger among Beijing owners and their association, who feel they are being treated differently.”

Qu Jianhui, deputy secretary-general of the Beijing Consumer Association, said Toyota should treat car owners in Beijing and other cities the same as in Zhejiang. That province has strong consumer protection laws, which other parts of China lack. Qu intimates that this could change if Toyota won’t play ball. A recall- recalcitrant Toyota “might push legislators to write vehicle sales into the law” indicates Qu. Understand, rubber band?

So far, no reaction from Toyota. Dealers contacted by the state-owned China Daily  said that so far they hadn’t received any notice about compensating owners and had no idea “if there will be some relevant policy in the following days”.

What did we say last time? You bet there will.

Update: They won’t. At least as long as Toyota can help it.

China’s official party paper People’s Daily writes today that “Hideaki Matsuki, General Manager of FAW Toyota Motor Sales Co., Ltd. said in an interview that Toyota would offer three free testing service options for Chinese RAV4 owners to choose. Vehicle owners will not get additional financial compensation for recalled cars.”

Customers who have ordered a RAV4 and changed their minds “will get their full deposit returned.” That’s it.

Update to the update: At least 100 owners of Toyota Motor Corp.’s RAV4 sport utility vehicles in China are preparing to file a lawsuit against the automaker, which has been rocked by massive global recalls, their lawyers said Friday,” writes The Nikkei [sub]. This in response to the aforementioned denial of financial responsibility. Well, no class action suits in China.


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