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Toyota has confirmed the bizarre pledge it will ask its customers to sign has been enacted in Japan, and the brand's Australian arm is yet to rule out attempting to establish a similar agreement with its local customers.
As reported last week, Toyota in Japan is asking its customers to sign a LC300 agreement that effectively bans export of its the new LandCruiser, ostensibly to prevent it falling into the hands of nefarious groups.
According to Japanese media, the agreement asked each of the LC300's 22,000-plus potential customers – which is the number of pre-orders the company is reporting - to sign a pledge that agrees it is not a purchase for "export" or "resale" purposes", before listing the following confirmation items required before the sale is completed.
The pledge doesn't specify how long the resale ban in is in place, or how long a sales ban from Toyota more broadly might last.
And today Toyota in Japan has officially confirmed the pledge, while Toyota in Australia is yet to confirm a similar agreement won't surface here.
But first Japan, where the brand has issued an offical statement, to local publication Mag X, that reads:
"LandCruiser is particularly popular overseas, and we are concerned about the situation where vehicles immediately after launch will flow from Japan to overseas and will be exported to specific areas where security is regulated.
"If a Toyota dealer is accused of being involved in a violation of the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law (Foreign Exchange Law) and is subject to investigation, not only the Toyota dealer but all Toyota dealers will be investigated. We recognise that this will be a major problem for dealers and Toyota Motor Corporation.
"It is the responsibility of the manufacturer... to understand the possibility of violation of the above foreign exchange law from the viewpoint of legal compliance and to minimise the risk of violation of the law.
"We recognize that each dealer has received a written pledge from the customer, judging from the viewpoint of legal compliance. This kind of response is based on the recent world situation and the characteristics of the LandCruiser vehicle, so we believe that it does not violate the Antimonopoly Act.
"Toyota Motor Corporation will continue to deliver good products while complying with the laws and regulations of each country in the world through dealers and distributors around the world. Thank you for your understanding."
In Australia, the situation remains unclear. CarsGuide earlier this week asked Toyota in Australia for confirmation that a similar agreement wouldn't be attempted here – presuming it would abide by local laws and ACCC regulations – but the company is awaiting official confirmation, and has not yet ruled it out. As such, whether or not a similar agreement could be demanded of customers in Australia remains to be seen.
While it sounds unusual, it's not unheard of – at least oversea. Ford in the USA, for example, imposed a two-year ban on resale of its iconic GT, and even launched lawsuits against customers who broke it.