Ten minutes on the phone and I have arranged to fix my potentially lethal car airbags.

I received a letter from Toyota about a year ago advising there may be a problem with the airbags on my 2001 Toyota Corolla. I was surprised that Toyota had my details as I'd bought the car from Turners Auctions a few years before and had it serviced only by a local mechanic.

I rang the local Toyota dealership to arrange a time to drop the car in, but we couldn't agree on a time that week. The letter was stuck to the fridge with a magnet and quietly vanished.

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As the story broke this week, I figured I was long overdue to check it out.

I Googled "Toyota NZ" and rang 0800 869682.

The first woman took my registration number and confirmed my car was affected by the recall. "We do have the parts available now to put that right. I can connect you now to the Toyota dealership nearest you, where do you live?"

Expecting some time on hold, I sighed.

"Hi Edward," said a voice almost immediately. "I understand you are wanting to book in to have your airbags replaced?"

"I'll just need to get some details from you as you have never been with us before, have you?"

I was told the car would be needed for an hour to an hour and a half, and could be done the following week.

There seemed to be multiple times available. I would have to wait until the following week if I wanted a courtesy vehicle.


She didn't know what product air bag would be put into the vehicle "but it won't be the Alpha Takata one".

She thought my car was only recently added to the list of recalls. "I believe it has only just come out so that will be fitted at no cost to you whatsover. When you come in, someone will go over the process with you.

"You can wait in our lounge where you can have free coffee, free wi-fi and even the free muffins — just help yourself."