Abuja – The National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) has advised Nigerians to ensure they buy vehicles from authorised distributors and local manufacturers.
The Director General of the council, Mr Aminu Jalal gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
Jalal said that buying cars from authorised dealers and manufacturers would enable Nigerians to benefit from warranty and recall services.
The DG of the council was speaking against the backdrop of Monday’s announcement by Japanese automotive giant, Toyota, that it was recalling nearly 1.6 million vehicles in the U.S. over faulty passenger airbags.
According to Jalal, the only Toyota vehicles that can enjoy recall services are those bought from the company’s local dealers or distributors and which are on the company’s records.
“Automotive manufacturers have devised warranty, recall services and some special service campaigns to replace or repair parts of vehicles that have been found to be faulty.
“Toyota manufactures over 80 million vehicles annually and sends to different countries. So, they have records of where they send these cars.
“When these faults come they check their records. When they find a vehicle is sent to Nigeria, they will contact Toyota Nigeria to which they sell to.
“Toyota Nigeria in turn will contact the distributors they have sent it to, and the distributor will contact the owners/buyers. Then they will recall and do the recall services.
“In fact, last year Toyota actually recalled some vehicles to replace those airbags.
“The problem we have in Nigeria is that for new cars, only half of them come through the authorised distributors.
“About half of the new cars are what is called grey imports. People just go to Dubai, America, Europe, buy cars and bring them.
“When those vehicles are subject to recall, all the companies know is that they have sent those cars to America or Dubai.
“So, they contact the Dubai or America office about the recall, and then that man you bought it from in America will try to contact you.
“But if you are here in Nigeria he cannot contact you. So, you cannot have recall because nobody has your information on that vehicle.
“That is why we tell people buy from authorised distributors or Nigerian manufacturers. With that you are sure you can have warranty or recall service.’’
NAN reports that Toyota’s announcement came after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the U.S. accelerated moves to recall vehicles fitted with potentially dangerous airbags.
The affected vehicles are 2006 to 2011 models of Lexus, Scion, Sienna, 4Runner, Yaris, Corolla and Matrix.
The NADDC DG said Toyota Nigeria launched a special campaign to recall some cars fitted Takata air bags to replace the faulty parts last year.
“Due to the low response, the company will sustain its call on customers to take their vehicles in for the issues in question to be taken care of for the safety of their customers.’’ (NAN)