BMW recall comes as Toyota campaign restores sales

BMW, the German car manufacturer, is to recall hundreds of thousands of vehicles due to a braking problem. Some Rolls Royce cars are also affected.

The news comes as fellow carmaker, Toyota, reveals that its work in restoring the brand following millions of recalls is paying off.

Toyota has spent the best part of 2010 restoring confidence in its brand after faulty pedals forced the recall of up to 10 million vehicles globally.

The Japanese manufacturer inititially received criticism for the way it defended its brand, with its chief operating office offering a public apology on video.

Following that it launched its pan-European “Your Toyota is My Toyota” campaign, with ads featuring employees championing the car manufacturer.

In June, a Marketing Week poll showed almost two-thirds (62%) of respondents doubted whether the campaign will rebuild trust in the brand. And only 29% think it is the right brand move.

However, YouGov reported that the manufacturer’s reputation was on the rise again after a slump.

This is now filtering through to sales. Speaking to press in ahead of the Paris auto show, Toyota Europe’s chief said sales have rebounded from a slump following the massive recalls that tainted the automaker’s reputation for quality.

Didier Leroy says sales are expected to reach 800,000 units this year – the target set by the automaker in January, before it recalled some 2 million vehicles in Europe. He credited the turnaround on the advertising campaign, as well as the much-publicised bolstering of its safety procedures.

BMW says there have been no reports of accidents or injuries in relation to its decision to recall 10,522 vehicles in the UK and, reportedly, 200,000 in North America.

The recall involves BMW 5 Series, 6 Series and 7 Series vehicles powered by V8 and V12 engines from the 2002-2010 model years and certain Rolls-Royce Motor Cars from the 2003-2010 model years.

The German automaker says in a statement a leak could develop in the power braking system, leading to a vacuum loss and the reduction of power braking assistance. Mechanical braking is still available to slow and stop the vehicle, the company says.

A spokesman told Marketing Week that all affected owners will be contacted as of today (1October), and as such there were “no plans” to produce any awareness campaign.

Some 905 Rolls Royce cars are also affected. A spokesman for Rolls Royce says that given the small number of vehicles it produces, any customer communications will be done directly. “This is largely an issue for higher mileage vehicles. It’s a voluntary recall and any reassurance will be done with our customers directly.”

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