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96 Toyota Innova assembled with expired engines   2008-07-10 - VNE

96 Toyota cars have been found as having been assembled with engines left in a port for 2 years. The manufacturer now has to contact the clients who bought the cars to negotiate compensations for its error.

Innova, one of the best sellers
In early 2006, a container of engines for Innova and Hiace model cars left the manufacturing workshop in Indonesia for Hai Phong port, and arrived in the port 2-3 weeks later. The consignment of goods stayed at the port until February 2008 because Toyota forgot about it. It contained 89 engines for Innova and six for Hiace.


After discovering the consignment, Toyota Vietnam asked Toyota Indonesia about the quality of the engines and was told that the engines had been left for too long, six times longer than the maximum recommended time (90 days), and should not be used.


Nevertheless, the engines were still used by Toyota to assemble cars.


An official of the Vietnam Registration Agency said that the cars assembled with the expired engines could not meet standards for running. Assembling cars with such engines is not acceptable for such a big automobile manufacturer as Toyota.


On July 4 in the afternoon, Toyota Vietnam officially admitted its mistake and blamed the mistake on the logistics division. 90 cars assembled with the engines have been sold since March 2008: four Hiace sold to individual clients and 86 Toyota Innova sold in lots.


Toyota has promised to give other cars to the buyers or refund 10% of the purchase price. Regarding the quality of the car, Toyota Vietnam affirmed that the engines are still running well and that all cars sold meet Toyota’s standards.


Innova model was launched by Toyota Vietnam in January 2006 and has become a best-seller. Some 30,000 Innovas have been consumed in the last 2.5 years, a record high for sales in Vietnam’s market.


Old engines startle customs agencies


An official of the Hai Phong Customs Agency, when talking with a VNExpress reporter, said he could not understand how the engines could have been left for such a long time at the port.


“This is really an unusual story in the history of the automobile industry, especially as this happened with engines for the Innova, the best-seller in the recent past,” he said.


The official said that he does not have information about where the consignment was put. Customs agencies will check to find out what is behind the trouble and who must take responsibility for the mistake.


In principle, when a consignment docks at a port, the owner of the consignment must make a declaration about the imports before the imports are unloaded from the ship. If the owners of the consignment do not receive the imports, the port will notify the ship owner about the tardiness, so that the ship owner can urge the import companies to come to clear the imports. The ship owner is responsible for the commodities until the commodities are cleared.


After the commodities are unloaded from the ship, the consignment owners must register to the port to be able to take the commodity to a bonded warehouse, and make declarations.


No one can give a suitable explanation about why the engines were left for two years. No one can explain how Toyota, a company which applies a strict management procedure, could ‘forget’ the consignment of imports.


The director of a car import company in Hai Phong city guessed that Toyota might have forgotten the imported engines because there were too many imports. However, she said Toyota should not have forgotten for such a long time.


Japanese officials at Toyota Vietnam joint venture were also surprised at the mistake because no subordinate reported to them about the engines.

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