As another “expatriate Briton” I have read with increasing dismay, but also resignation going by other things one reads about the U.K. these days, the letters from your readers on the subject of reliability in British cars.
I am writing this, not so much to disagree, the evidence is too strong for that, but more in the hope of showing that “not all that is bad is British”. In October 1968, I purchased a brand spanking new Toyota Corona; I sold it in March 1970 (18 months later), at 20,000 miles; in that time the following had been done to it:
1. -The front brakes were dismantled 6 times, and the drums machined out 3 times in an (unsuccessful) attempt to eliminate a strong pull to the left. 2. New universal joints were fitted, front and rear;
3. A new differential was put in. 4. Synchromesh cones in the gear-box were renewed;
5. At the same time as 4, the clutch plate was apparently “re-faced”.
6. •[he timing gear was repaired I’m not exactly sure what was done to it.
7. Finally, as the crowning (no pun intended) glory at 18,500 miles, the engine was fitted with new bearings and rings.
8. When I sold the car the differential was starting to become noisy again.
-The manufacturers refused to accept my only (?) other complaint which was about the paintwork; this was lifting due to what looked like bits of grit underneath, and rust was forming at these points. Items 1 7 were all fixed without charge, and outside the official warranty period (6 months or 6,000 miles), so at least I have that to be thankful for. My main mistake was eventually writing to Japan and complaining; I received a letter in
what apparently passes for English, stating that all responsibility for their cars lay with the local assembler. About a fortnight after I received this, another letter arrived, from the local people stating that as my vehicle was now 18 months old, they could no longer accept responsibility etc. I sold the car about a month later.
I now drive a 1965 Mini.
Victoria, Australia. G. A. WATTS.