Toyota tight-lipped as Canada-wide parts snafu leaves customers fuming
CBC News- Yvonne Colbert | August 29, 2019.

It`s been 57 days and counting since Halifax resident Catrina Brown took her leased Toyota Rav4 to a collision centre after it was damaged in a highway accident.

Yet, she still has no idea when the parts needed to repair her vehicle will arrive or when she will even be able to drive it again. "It`s seemingly incomprehensible to me that a massive corporation like that can`t get it together to find parts for their cars," Brown said in an interview.

It`s a problem being experienced by Toyota owners coast to coast, one the company says is caused by a "planned systems transformation to provide an improved overall customer experience."

But it seems the "transformation" is having the opposite effect on customers left in the dark about when parts will arrive.

There`s been a total lack of communication or effort to be transparent," Brown said. "I`ve had to do all the work of calling and trying to contact people to find out what`s going on.`

Continue reading on the CBC website.


APA`s message to Toyota owners

Toyota is changing from an old inventory tracking system to a new one. Toyota ran into serious bugs when the new system came on stream in June 2019: think Government of Canada Phoenix payroll system or the LCBO`s new inventory management system, or Revlon`s 2017 SAP implementation "disaster."

Toyota is a leader in inventory management, just-in-time delivery, and continuous optimization. This sort of service failure is exceptional coming from them.

Delays for parts reported to the APA can be over a month. Sometimes the parts are available from independent (non-Toyota) suppliers, but Toyota dealers are not authorized by the manufacturer to buy them if it involves warranty work.

When it comes to insurance repairs, collision parts can be backordered for weeks until the consumer times out their insurance-paid replacement vehicle. As reported by CBC`s Yvonne Colbert, the APA has heard of dealers and body shops scrambling to get Toyota vehicles back on the road with some parts missing after collision repairs. Even simple repairs, like replacing a damaged rearview mirror or completing a brake service have been held up.

What Toyota needs to do:

More transparency -- problems of this magnitude don`t go away quickly. Based on conversations with experts who are familiar with issues with large enterprise database projects, fixing this problem completely will take months. The lack of integrity in communicating with customers has been historically a Toyota Canada weakness.

Suspend lease payments for any Toyota leased vehicle that is off the road while waiting for parts.

Courtesy vehicle coverage for any Toyota vehicle off the road more than a day or two while waiting for parts.

Automatic authorization to dealers who want to order parts from non-Toyota suppliers for a vehicle that is off the road. Toyota should undertake to apply the Toyota warranty to these repairs and indemnify the dealers for the extra cost incurred.

What you can do:

Inform Toyota in writing if your vehicle is off the road. Don`t wait, as anyone providing assurances cannot really be certain when parts will arrive. Ask Toyota to cover your expenses incurred because of the parts delay. Keep your records; the APA is hopeful that Toyota will eventually see the light and compensate customers.

Ask your Toyota dealer or independent repair shop to source independent parts or even used parts if they are available. This is almost always cheaper than paying for a rental vehicle over several days or weeks.

If you are having a Toyota vehicle repaired, make sure the shop has received the parts before they begin taking your Toyota apart. This may involve two visits, one for an inspection and a second for the actual repair after the replacement parts have arrived.


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