As yet another example of why it pays to by a car from an automotive leader and major local player, Toyota South Africa Motors has established a world first: designated Toyota Repair Support dealerships (14 in total), strategically placed throughout the country. These centres will make local, regional support possible to other dealerships, as opposed to the one national hub that Toyota has used up until now, and which other manufacturers still do.
These 14 TRS dealerships are supported by the Toyota Centre of Technical Excellence (TCOTE) based at the Toyota South Africa Motors Sandton Head office, which is the most advanced Toyota-owned facility of its kind on the African continent.
The Technical and Repair Support Centre is a state-of-the-art facility, purpose-built to assist the aforementioned regional dealer network with the swift and efficient resolution of diagnostic challenges in particular, including remote diagnostics. It is open to all 200+ dealerships within the Toyota and Lexus family, and not just the TRS dealerships.
Technicians from the TRS dealerships are continuously trained at regular training seminars, with the aim to ensure high diagnostic standards.
As articulated by Andrew Kirby, President and CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM): “The reason this centre is such a pivotal part of our business is because automotive diagnostics are critical in our aftersales strategy.
“It benefits the entire production and sales cycle, from the original equipment manufacturer all the way to the service centre, resulting in reduced service time at dealer workshops, the timely resolution of vehicle issues and even the prevention of possible technical issues in the long term. Think of it as an early detection centre for vehicles that are new to our region to ensure that we are ready for whatever issues that may arise after a model been released to our market.”
The technology employed at TCOTE encompasses the many facets of vehicle maintenance and research. The core focus areas include:
Crash Data Recovery or CDR
This is like an airplanes ‘black box’, which can reconstruct what happened before an accident. This can be used for the vehicle’s owner’s convenience and is even admissible in court.
Radial Force Variation
The RFV machine analyses a wheel’s dynamics and can detect tyre or wheel abnormalities or deformations.
Remote Diagnosis including Pico-Scope Analysis
This technology maps the electrical activity inside wires, and is able to measure and test virtually all electrical and electronic components and circuits in a vehicle. This is far more powerful and specific than regular vehicle diagnostics tools.
Due to their unique structure, these diagnostic machines can test all fuel-related components while off the vehicle, by simulating pressure and fuel delivery, thereby shortening diagnostic time, as well as minimising repair costs.
A dynomometer measures the power in motion, and is able to calculate power at the engine as opposed to at the flywheel. It also allows diagnostics to be done in the workshop, away from public roads.