Toyota's Johan van Zyl has died

Dan C

Honorary Master
Nov 21, 2005
I sent him 2 emails after my wife's new Tazz was booked in numerous times without the problem being resolved. After the second mail, all hell broke loose and suddenly their top specialists took control. A few days later the issue was fixed and she happy drove the car for the next 13 years.

May he rest in peace
The longest I drove a car was about 8 hours. I really got tired after that.


Expert Member
Mar 3, 2017
What could have possibly stumped them on a Tazz?
It actually turned out to be a relatively menial thing. There was a small sound from the dashboard area, sometimes every few seconds, then nothing for a few days, then once or twice an hour. There did not seem to be any pattern. It sounded like a thud mixed with a creak... Difficult to explain.

My wife drove about 80km per day in heavy Gauteng traffic, so we were afraid that the sound may start causing the car to stall. The fault was eventually traced to a spot weld breaking loose on the plates separating the engine compartment from the passenger area, causing movement that made the noise.

There was actually a service directive circulated to the branches regarding this issue some years earlier, but it seems that the mechanics can't read .


Honorary Master
Aug 9, 2009
Former Toyota Europe boss Johan van Zyl dies

Tributes paid after shock death of long-time Toyota executive, who recently retired as European CEO to return to South Africa

Johan van Zyl, a long-time senior Toyota executive who stood down as the head of the firm's European division earlier this year, has died at the age of 63.

The South African had worked for Toyota since 1993, and was appointed president and CEO of Toyota Motor Europe in 2015. He retired from that role earlier this year and moved back to South African, where he had recently taken on the role of chairman of Toyota South Africa.

Van Zyl died on Friday 30 July due to illness. In a statement, Toyota said the “unfortunate loss has come as a shock to us all”, and highlighted van Zyl’s “humour, calmness and personal empathy”.

During his time at the helm of Toyota’s European arm van Zyl has spearheaded the firm’s major revival in the region, including the return of the Corolla to the market, the expansion of its SUV range and the addition of popular sports cars such as the GR Supra and GR Yaris. Van Zyl was also key to negotiations to secure the long-term future of the firm's Burnaston plant in Derbyshire.

Matt Harrison, who succeeded van Zyl as Toyota Motor Europe’s president and CEO, said: “We have lost an inspirational leader and an amazing human being. For those of us who were fortunate to work closely with Johan, we will always remember him as a great mentor, who had a story to share on any topic and who truly cared about people.