TOYOTA RESPONDS TO DPF CLASS ACTION
Owners of vehicles affected by faulty DPFs have launched a class action against Toyota Australia
Bannister Law Class Actions, supported by Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers, is conducting a class action in the Federal Court of Australia against Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Limited (Toyota Australia).
The Toyota class action is seeking compensation for alleged defects in Toyota Hilux, Fortuner and Prado vehicles with a 1GD-FTV or 2GD-FTV diesel engine.
It is claimed that these defects cause problems with the vehicles, including the emission of foul-smelling white smoke from the exhaust, blockage of the diesel particulate filter (DPF), increased fuel consumption, and an increase in wear and tear on the engine.
On its official website for the class action, Bannister Law Class Actions state that on 23 October 2020, the Federal Court of Australia adopted an independent referee’s report which concludes 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.
In response to the class action, Toyota Australia has issued the following statement to media outlets including carsales.com.au
“Toyota has been proactive about the fact that some customers have experienced a DPF issue and we have implemented a number of customer-focussed and technical remedies to assist.
“Toyota has worked tirelessly and transparently since becoming aware of concerns to find the best resolution for our customers – we are confident that the most recent countermeasure will remedy the DPF issue, as supported by the Independent Expert’s Report recently adopted by the Federal Court.
“We have an existing Customer Service Exercise (CSE) underway for DPF. A CSE involves proactively contacting all owners of potentially affected vehicles and giving them the opportunity to present their vehicle at their convenience and have the CSE performed free of charge.
“This means that, all customers with potentially affected vehicles have been contacted by letter and are requested to make contact with their closest/preferred Toyota Dealer.
“In addition to the CSE, as part of our commitment to ongoing customer satisfaction, we have extended our warranty on the DPF system to 10 years from the first delivery date of the vehicle when new, with no limitation on kilometres.
“This warranty extension applies to customers who may have experienced an issue with the DPF system which may present as substantial white smoke discharged during the regeneration process or the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) may illuminate and in some cases, as a precautionary measure, engine power may be reduced (‘limp home’ mode).
“We reiterate our commitment, as always, to helping our customers with any questions or concerns they have about their vehicle.
“We encourage any Toyota owners with questions or concerns about their DPF to contact their closest or preferred Toyota Dealer (www.toyota.com.au/find-a-dealer) or the Guest Experience Centre on 1800 869 682 (Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:30pm AEST).
“Alternatively, customers can find out more via a comprehensive DPF FAQ on the Toyota website (www.toyota.com.au/dpfinformation).”
Bannister Law Class Actions says that even if the 2020 countermeasures do prove to be effective, group members in the class action will still be able to claim damages.
At the most recent court hearing of 23 October 2020, the Court indicated that the date by which a mediation between the parties is to take place will be set at a hearing in December.