Toyota Australia has started reaching out to customers with HiLux and Fortuner models that could have issues with their Diesel Particulate Filters.
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Toyota Australia has started issuing a 'Customer Service Exercise Notification' for the Toyota HiLux and Fortuner fitted with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) and the 2.8-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine.

Due to it not being a customer safety issue, this isn't classed as a 'recall' and is instead simply a notice calling for customers to visit their dealers for a fix.

While the notice was originally issued late last year, many customers are now starting to receive these notices (CarAdvice included, for our HiLux SR5).

According to the notice, "Due to inappropriate Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) Automatic regeneration control by the Engine Control Module (ECM), exhaust hard deposits can accumulate at the front portion of the DPF oxidation catalyst, causing the heating performance of the catalyst to degrade."

This notice is in line with some consumer complains indicating a large amount of white smoke being emitted from their vehicles, and service faults requiring DPF replacement or dealer cleaning of the particulate filter.

The notice goes on to say, "If the above situation occurs, white smoke may be discharged during DPF Automatic regeneration or the driver may experience the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) illuminate in [the] dashboard instrument cluster."

Toyota Australia will provide a fix free of charge to customers, which will take between 1 to 2.5 hours to complete and will include an ECM update, the introduction of a 'DPF custom mode' and a manual inspection of the DPF for built up residual particulate matter.

The DPF custom mode is a new visual indicator that enables a driver display that offers information to the driver, informing them of the particulate filter regeneration state or whether their filter is beyond regeneration and needs to be taken back to the dealer.

There are four modes possible on the display:

  • Driver Intervention Required:
    • DPF partially blocked
      • Driver must drive at over 60km/h for approximately 30 minutes until indicator clears
    • DPF blocked
      • Driver must urgently drive at over 60km/h for approximately 30 minutes until the indicator clears
    • DPF blocked, requires dealer action
      • Driver action is not possible and vehicle will need to be inspected by the nearest Toyota dealer
  • No driver intervention required
    • DPF partially blocked, regeneration in progress
      • No driver action is required

DPF regeneration occurs every 250-300km and is a process forced by the DPF capturing and storing diesel particulates, which eventually require purging through a super-heating process.

During this time engine revs increase and the vehicle works to increase exhaust temperature to a level capable of burning these particulates. If this doesn't occur, the particulates build up and can cause the filter to become blocked, which requires manual cleaning or replacement.

Toyota Australia says that it has actively worked to mitigate any ongoing issues with the release of this customer service notification.

"All customers with potentially affected vehicles have been, or are in the process of being, contacted by letter and are requested to make contact with their closest/preferred Toyota Dealer. Toyota Dealers will reprogram the engine control module, ensure the DPF has been regenerated and conduct a smoke test. If the smoke test is negative, the DPF will be replaced," said Brodie Bott, manager of public affairs at Toyota Australia.

"All inspection work and replacement, if required, will be completed free of charge to the customer."

Customers with affected vehicles will be contacted by Toyota to be booked in for a repair free of charge. If any customers have questions, they have been asked to contact the Toyota recall customer support line on 1800 987 366 between 8AM and 6PM, Monday to Friday.

The latest iteration of the HiLux, Fortuner and Landcruiser Prado were recently updated to include a manual DPF burn switch as part of a rolling update.