A TAXI driver from York is in a row with a car manufacturer because he said the rear windscreen of his new Toyota shattered unexpectedly while he was carrying a customer.

Bose Thomas, from Clifton Green, blames a faulty rear windscreen heater for the shattered glass, though Toyota said it had no record of similar complaints in the UK about its Prius range of cars.

Mr Thomas, 38, who drives for 659 Cars, said the incident happened at 4.20am on Friday after his passenger had stopped to use a cash machine at the Tesco store at Askham Bar.

He said: “There was a big bang and the glass smashed. The customer was frightened and wondered what was happening. I got out and looked around and the area was completely empty.”

Mr Bose bought the Prius in December and said since then the car had suffered a smashed wing mirror and also a shattered side window after a passenger closed the door.

“On Friday morning the temperature had come down 10C in York,” he said. “Then the car got foggy inside and I switched on the heating system then two or three minutes later it (the window) exploded.”

He said the car dealer where he bought the vehicle had blamed it on a stone chip and told him to claim for repairs through his insurance company, which he has now done, though he is still in dispute with Toyota.

A spokesman from Toyota’s head office said: “We were very sorry to learn of the damage sustained to Mr Thomas’s car.

“We do not believe that a manufacturing defect was the cause of the breakage to the rear window glass which means that Mr Thomas’s car will be repaired under the terms of his car insurance policy.

“Every effort has been made to minimise the inconvenience caused to Mr Thomas as a result of this incident and ensure the vehicle is repaired as quickly as possible.”