Vehicle technology is advancing at a staggering pace and identifying the root cause of an intermittent technical issue can be complex. Although on-board diagnostic (OBD) fault codes help point technicians in the right direction, the sheer depth of system knowledge needed to solve intricate problems is sometimes not available at all dealerships. This is where the Toyota Centre of Technical Excellence (TCOTE) makes a difference in the aftersales service experience.

Based at Toyota South Africa Motors’ (TSAM) head office in Sandton, this advanced technical hub communicates to 14 dedicated Toyota repair support (TRS) dealerships strategically placed throughout the country to reinforce the role played by the highly skilled resident technical staff. In short, if a problem cannot be solved at dealership level, the help of a TRS is called upon. The next step is to involve TCOTE and at the highest level, Toyota Japan is ready to assist if needed. The Toyota customer is therefore guaranteed advanced aftermarket service support in the shortest time frame possible.

Toyota has spent R9-million on TCOTE alone, acquiring some state-of-the-art equipment demonstrated on the day of the launch of the facility:

Dynamometer measurement

The most exciting piece of equipment is the chassis dynamometer that measures the torque and power output of a vehicle’s powertrain at the wheels. It is in essence a rolling road allowing technicians to safely log engine data during dynamic driving conditions while the vehicle is stationary, away from public roads and traffic.

Crash data recovery (CDR)




Modern vehicles are able to store data preceding a crash much like a so-called “black box” in an aircraft. TSAM employs a sophisticated CDR tool to obtain the data from the vehicles electronic control units to reconstruct the scenario leading up to the crash event.

Radial force variation (RFV)

The RFV machine may appear similar to a wheel balancing unit but is able to simulate road loads on the wheel courtesy of a roller in contact with the tyre. It employs laser technology to dynamically analyse tyre and wheel deformation so show any abnormalities that can lead to annoying vibration.

Remote Diagnosis

Similar in principal to remote IT support, this vehicle investigative functionality is now available to over 200 Toyota and Lexus service centres to consult with TCOTE specialists in Sandton via integrated video and OBD scan tool connections.

Injector analysis

The injector test bench in combination with the injector diagnostic analysis tool is able to examine fuel distribution, quantity and atomisation of both petrol and diesel injectors.