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In the spotlight Toyota/Lexus fleetnews.co.uk/SME March 2011 13recall following reports of 'unintended acceleration' in the US which had apparently led to accidents.About 180,000 cars in the UK were affected, and although the fix was carried out on the affected models well within the target time period, the incident had a major impact on the organisation globally.Both Toyota and Lexus had a solid reputation for making among the most reliable cars on the roads, validated in independent surveys across the globe, and ultimately customers will benefit from changes made to procedure since the recalls.Shepherd said the company had appointed a global quality committee, while each region (including Europe) has a quality committee of its own.It means any potential faults that could result in a vehicle being recalled are spotted earlier.Shepherd says that although there were no reports of incidents as a result of the faults in Europe it has made the company extremely vigilant, particularly at its European plants.He added that, perhaps ironically, the new strategy could result in a greater number of Toyota recalls as potential problems are spotted sooner than they might otherwise have been, while he suggested that the cars produced by Toyota and Lexus since the recalls last year would be their best-ever quality.Toyota and Lexus business centres are fleet specialists and set up to deal with enquiries from organisations in their local areas.There is a 'business customer commitment' that guaranĀ­tees service levels for clients.Business centres have demonstrators of key vehicles including Toyota commercial vehicles and staff are trained to offer information and advice on a range of issues, not just the vehicles.Shepherd said in December 2010 that business centre staff received training to ensure they can give customers guidĀ­ance on tax issues and he believed it would help add to the reputation of the brands for customer service."It's about going beyond expectations," he said."The new strategy could result in more recalls as potential problems are spotted sooner"Ewan ShepherdToyota IQShorter in length than the Aygo, but feeling more upmarket, the IQ's innovative three-plus-one seating layout makes it more practical than two-seat city cars and also offers CO2 emissions from 99g/kmToyota Auris HybridLaunched in 2010, the Auris Hybrid offers the efficiency of the Prius in a conventional-looking car with official fuel economy figures up to 74.3mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 from 89g/kmToyota PriusNow in its third generation, the Prius has become shorthand for alternative fuel vehicles and achieves a CO2 emissions output from 89g/km, with fuel economy of more than 70mpgLexus CT 200hSharing the hybrid technology of the Prius the CT 200h takes the Lexus brand into a new sector. CO2 emissions of 94g/km and fuel consumption close to 70mpg makes it competitive with the most frugal diesel rivals.Sub-100g/km cars from Toyota and LexusEwan Shepherd:'extremely vigilant'