A major damage limitation exercise aimed at reassuring fleets has been launched by Toyota in the wake of a recall involving around 190,000 cars in Britain.
A Fleet News poll, which you can still take part in, has so far found that over 25% of fleets are now considering removing Toyota cars from their choice lists or have already done so.
“We were considering buying Toyota for our fleet but will probably not until the problems have been ironed out,” said one respondent, while another said: “Most drivers now refuse to consider a Toyota.”
But the vast majority of fleets say they will continue to use Toyota.
Dave Gill, financial director at JMC IT summed up why: “Toyotas are our standard cars and will remain so.
"At least they have been honest about the recall which is more than can be said for some manufacturers.”
However, Toyota admits it now faces an uphill struggle to regain the trust of fleets and their drivers.
As a result, every member of the Japanese firm’s UK fleet department has been put on the road in a bid to repair the dented image of the world’s biggest car company in the corporate market.
They have been briefed to visit fleets to explain the unprecedented recall action that involves seven car ranges and the latest version of the Prius hybrid.
“We’re sitting down with them, asking what questions they have about these issues and asking how we can help them,” said spokesman David Crouch.
“Recalls are nothing new to fleets, but the sheer size and numbers involved in these campaigns have made them big news. It is important that we maintain a dialogue with our customers.”
Toyota announced the global recall of its latest, third-generation Prius built before 27 January 2010, last week.
This will involve 8,500 cars in the UK.
The news that the Prius is being recalled comes just days after the Japanese carmaker was plunged into a crisis after it was forced to recall millions of cars across the globe, including hundreds of thousands here.
Toyota apologised to its customers for any concern this issue has caused.
Toyota said it will write to every owner or keeper, adding that the cars are still safe to drive.
If your drivers have reported problems or concerns about their Prius brakes tell us about it by leaving a comment at the end of this article.
Find out what else Toyota is doing to placate fleets and get the recalled cars through its workshops as quickly as it can in the next issue of Fleet News, which is out on Thursday February 18.