A finding in a DPF Class Action against Toyota Australia says the Federal Court has adopted an independent referee’s report concluding HiLux, Prado and Fortuner DPF systems were defective.
According to a letter sent to participants in a Class Action against Toyota Australia by Bannister Law, on 23 October 2020, the Federal Court of Australia adopted an independent referee’s report which concluded that the Diesel Particulate Filter System (DPF System) in all Toyota HiLux, Prado and Fortuner diesel vehicles sold in Australia between October 2015 and April 2020 was defective.
Bannister Law says, “These findings are of great significance to the owners of the 250,000 affected vehicles subject of the class action, and an important step towards obtaining compensation for group members who were sold defective vehicles by Toyota.”
The letter from Bannister Law goes on to state: “The independent referee found that the DPF System was not designed to work effectively during normal use of the vehicles in the Australian market, and the DPF System was designed with both mechanical and software defects.
“The key defects and defect consequences found by the independent referee are that regeneration of the DPF System fails to remove sufficient particulate matter from the DPF to prevent it from becoming blocked and ceasing to function effectively. This causes:
- damage to parts of the DPF System;
- excessive, foul-smelling white smoke (unburned diesel fuel) to be emitted from the vehicles;
- vehicles to require unusual or abnormal maintenance, such as repeated, unscheduled inspections, services and repairs.”
According to Toyota Australia, the recently facelifted Toyota HiLux is equipped with new hardware and software designed to resolve the DPF issues of earlier models. In addition, the Toyota recently announced it would fix affected vehicles free of charge and would offer a retrospective 10-year warranty on the DPF of certain HiLux, Fortuner and Prado models. Nevertheless, Bannister Law says a mediation date between parties will be set at a hearing some time in December.
Owners of affected HiLux, Prado and Fortuner vehicles will be able to take some comfort in the following statement made by Toyota Australia VP of Sales and Marketing, Sean Hanley on 26 September 2020: “Toyota has built up an incredible amount of trust with our customers. “We are in fact blessed to be the most trusted automotive brand in Australia right now – we’re in the top three most trusted brands in Australia – so I would say to customers, you can be absolutely sure that Toyota will do everything possible to look after you in every sense, whether it’s a sale of a vehicle, post-sale of a vehicle and that if there is ever any concern around our vehicles please take them back to our Toyota dealerships, because we will look after our customers.”
Further detailed information about the independent referee’s report can be found at this link.