Toyota Australia insists it has solved the diesel particulate filter dramas that saw thousands of HiLux utes blow thick clouds of white smoke in traffic – but it has urged more customers to come forward if their vehicles are still experiencing symptoms.
Toyota diesel particulate filter (DPF) faults affect approximately 250,000 examples of the HiLux ute and Prado and Fortuner four-wheel drives equipped with a 2.8-litre turbo diesel engine manufactured from 2015 to 2018.
“We have a customer service action in play, and anybody that’s got any concerns with HiLux in relation to DPF – or any Toyota (with a DPF complaint) – should contact their Toyota dealer,” said Toyota Australia vice president, sales and marketing, Sean Hanley, this week.
“Quality of our cars is deeply important, our customer experience is even more important,” said Mr Hanley. “I can assure you that Toyota is doing everything possible to address any concerns around DPF.”
Toyota is facing a class act lawsuit, led by Bannister Law, which is seeking compensation for owners of affected vehicles.
“We also are before the courts on that,” said Mr Hanley. “In terms of a class action, we have no comment to make in relation to that matter. (But) I can assure our customers that if they have any concerns with anything in relation to DPF, please contact their Toyota dealer.”
Toyota is understood to have bought back a number of affected vehicles, but the company would not disclose how many customers it had refunded or arranged trade-ins for. It is also unclear if customers received a full refund of their purchase price or a partial amount, given the age and use of the vehicle.
“We’ve got a number of actions we are taking,” said Mr Hanley. When asked if there was now a technical solution to the DPF dramas, Mr Hanley said: “We believe that we can address the issues at hand and we urge (customers) to contact their Toyota dealer.”
Toyota began fitting a manual DPF-activation switch (pictured above) on affected vehicles from August 2018. The switch is also part of the solution for older models. It is unclear if there is further rectification work.
Launching its class action, a statement from Bannister Law said at the time: “Our clients have experienced increased fuel consumption and a loss of power of the vehicle which they believe may have been caused by the inability of the DPF to reach desired temperatures due to hard deposits accumulating on the DPF oxidation catalyst in order to commence regeneration/burn of particulates.”