Toyota, like other automobile manufacturers, actively and continuously monitors field information related to our vehicles. Our engineers and specialists look for data and trends that may indicate a vehicle performance issue. If Toyota determines that a defect exists and decides that the defect is “related to motor vehicle safety”, per the Safety Act, the company will conduct a safety recall.
In addition, for issues that are not “safety-related defects,” the company may decide to address a condition found in the field to enhance customer satisfaction. Although safety is Toyota’s primary concern, customer satisfaction will continue to be a centerpiece of our actions. Sometimes the company may address such issues through a Special Service Campaign (SSC), under which vehicle owners are provided a free repair. In other cases, the company may issue a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB), which is a communication between Toyota and its dealerships that can serve as an update to Toyota publications, describe parts updates, or relay enhanced or new service procedures. Service procedures may explain diagnostic steps, implementation of recommended updates, or how to perform certain repairs. A TSB is not a recall or a Special Service Campaign. If the cost of a TSB service or repair is eligible for warranty coverage, it will be specified in the TSB. In general, the vehicle must be within the original warranty parameters and exhibit the concerns referenced in the TSB. A TSB does not extend the vehicle warranty.
Toyota makes all available TSBs accessible to the public by subscribing to our Technical Information System. Toyota also submits copies of TSBs monthly to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and most of those TSBs are summarized on the NHTSA website for anyone to review.
Toyota and Lexus combined rank sixth in terms of the lowest number of recalls initiated since 1990, with less than 20 percent of the number undertaken by the company at the top of the list, according to the web site mycarstats.com
In the interest of continuous improvement, we’ve launched a top-to-bottom review of all our operations, led by our President Akio Toyoda, to ensure that we not only meet but exceed the high safety standards that have defined our company. We are making fundamental changes in the way our company operates in order to ensure that Toyota sets an even higher standard for vehicle safety and reliability, responsiveness to customers and transparency with regulators.