Thursday, December 25, 2014

Toyota China: Responds, Doesn't Explain Out-Of-Control Toyota

Toyota China officially responds to case of Zelas speeding out of control

By Carmen Lee From (Shanghai December 6) - Late last month, there was an incident where a Toyota Zelas coupe sped out of control on a highway in Zhejiang. The brakes on the Zelas did not function properly, causing it to speed at around 125 km/h. It took nearly an hour for the police to help the out of control vehicle come to a stop. Relatives of the driver said that he had to pull the handbrake until the vehicle was able to come to a stop.

According to a Beijing News report appearing today, Toyota China has officially responded to the incident, which made headlines across the country. In their statement, four of the vehicle's independently controlled systems must all malfunction simultaneously for such an incident to occur.

A Toyota representative explained the situation more clearly: "[Our] technology department's evaluations show that the vehicle's cruise control system, drivetrain system, engine system and transmission systems must simultaneously malfunction for such a problem to occur." In the incident, the Zelas (pictured) was reportedly unable to brake, its cruise control and engine could not be shut off and its transmission was stuck in neutral. The representative added that without direct access to the vehicle, it was impossible for Toyota to make any further judgment on the issue.

The statement also emphasized the seriousness with which Toyota China, Guangqi Toyota and their dealerships were handling the issue. They have already contacted the driver of the vehicle in question as well as involved traffic departments to better understand the cause of the problem.

Toyota began selling the Zelas, which is known overseas as the Scion tC, in China in 2010 as an import model. The Zelas, which is priced between 255,000 yuan and 280,000 yuan ($40,627-
$44,611), is sold by Guangqi Toyota in the country. Being a pure coupe, sales of the Zelas in China have been relatively small.