The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has agreed to a court-enforceable undertaking from Toyota, after errors were discovered on the car maker's website.
The undertaking from Toyota Motor Corporation Australia is related to errors on its website about its Corolla Levin Wagon model, an ACCC statement said.
Graeme Samuel, ACCC chairman, said that from December 2001 until October 2002 Toyota had promoted the Levin Wagon on its website and in brochures as having front and rear power windows as a standard feature, when only front power windows were standard.
Samuel said companies were obliged to ensure that any material on their websites was correct. 'The internet is fast becoming the primary tool used by consumers in the initial stages of finding out about goods they may wish to purchase,' Samuel said.
Toyota detected the error in February 2002, but due to an oversight only corrected part of the website at that time, the ACCC said.
'Toyota was further alerted to the error by a consumer in September 2002 and at this time amended its promotional brochures,' it stated. 'However, Toyota only fully amended its website after being contacted by the ACCC. Further errors in the website were detected by ACCC as late as July 2003.'
Peter Griffin, general manager corporate affairs at Toyota Australia, told iTnews the event was unfortunate.
He said the company had co-operated with the ACCC's investigation. '[We] put in place all their recommendations to ensure the accuracy of our information in the future,' Griffin said.
The company had written to people who bought a Levin Wagon between 1 December 2001 and 31 October 2002, to apologise. Buyers who felt misled had been compensated, the ACCC said.
Toyota is carrying out two annual audits of its website and processes to make sure they are compliant with the Trade Practices Act, the ACCC said.