RAV4 re­call not for Aus­tralia

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By NEIL DOWLING

A HUGE re­call of a Toy­ota model, sparked by se­ri­ous in­ci­dents in the US, may go un-no­ticed by some Aus­tralian own­ers.

Six cases of a noisy sus­pen­sion sys­tem — the first sign of a fail­ure — and two cases where the sus­pen­sion has sep­a­rated from the car body have been re­ported in Aus­tralia.

Yet Toy­ota will not is­sue a re­call.

The pop­u­lar small SUV, the RAV4, is be­ing re­called in the US to re­pair rear sus­pen­sion joints that have come apart.

It af­fects more than three-quar­ters of a mil­lion ve­hi­cles.

But Toy­ota Aus­tralia says though it is aware of the eight cases, it won’t fol­low the US and is­sue a com­pany re­call.

Com­pany spokesper­son Beck An­gel says North Amer­ica is the only re­gion in the world with a re­call.

‘‘The rest of the re­gions — Ja­pan, Ocea­nia, Europe, Asia and oth­ers— will con­duct a cus­tomer re­view,’’ she says.

‘‘North Amer­i­can deal­ers con­duct a rear wheel align­ment be­fore the cars go to the cus­tomers. Other re­gions don’t do that.

‘‘So the prob­lem is more likely in North Amer­ica.

‘‘In Aus­tralia, the cus­tomer re­view is more pre­cau­tion­ary.’’

Toy­ota says the prob­lem is at­trib­uted to in­suf­fi­cient tight­en­ing of the rear sus­pen­sion bolts.

No ac­ci­dents at­trib­ut­able to the prob­lem have been re­ported to Toy­ota.

Ms An­gel says in Aus­tralia, 66,377 RAV4s, built from Oc­to­ber 2005 to Novem­ber 2010, are af­fected.

Toy­ota will no­tify own­ers by let­ter and re­quest a ve­hi­cle in­spec­tion at a Toy­ota ser­vice cen­tre.

Toy­ota Aus­tralia says the prob­lem doesn’t war­rant the sta­tus of an of­fi­cial safety re­call as the cause is not re­lated to a de­sign or man­u­fac­tur­ing de­fect.

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