Having come through a potentially disastrous recall problem which hit it hard, particularly in the US, Toyota now believes it sets the benchmark for dealing with problems.

Proud of its reputation for quality, Toyota's European sales chief and former head of Toyota GB, Miguel Fonseca, said the company now reacts swiftly to potential problems.

He said: "What we have learned from the recall issues over the past two years is how to react with transparency and speed. We have improved our processes and communications and we now view any potential problems with zero tolerance."

For example, Fonseca said that Toyota Europe recently recalled 400,000 Avensis models over a problem with a vacuum pump and fuel pump which had been highlighted in Japan and the US.

"In Europe, the Avensis is a slightly different model but we recalled them all, going back 11 years, to make modifications, even though we had received only one report on the whole of Europe - and none in the UK where we recalled 15,000 cars.

"Toyota is the leader in quality and as such we have responsibility for setting new standards, all part of the culture of Kaizan or continuous improvement. Our customers tell us we are doing the right thing and we are still coming out top in the quality surveys.

"Our customers are the judges and we do not want to disappoint them."