Toyota Australia has doubled the warranty from five to 10 years on cars affected by faulty diesel-particulate filters (DPFs).
Customers have experienced – and Toyota has acknowledged – repeated problems with the DPF system fitted to 2.8-litre 1GD-FTV and 2.4-litre 2GD-FTV diesel engines. This includes Toyota HiLux, LandCruiser Prado, and Fortuner dating back to 2015.
According to a statement from Toyota Australia, the 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)".
Bannister Law is currently heading up a class-action lawsuit against Toyota, which includes more than 250,000 vehicles sold between 1st October 2015 and 23rd April 2020.
Located in the exhaust system, the job of a DPF is to catch particulates from the exhaust stream, and then periodically 'burn' the contents of the the filter off in a process called 'regeneration'. Giving cleaner tailpipe emissions, a diesel particulate filter is necessary under current emission laws, and there are penalties for removing them.
Some customers were issued fines from Environmental Protection Authorities after they were dobbed in by other motorists who spotted the cars belching smoke.
A recent independent report, written by a court-appointed expert, found the design of the Toyota diesel particulate filter to be defective, and prone to clogging up in regular usage.
This led to excessive white smoke, a warning light coming up on the dashboard, and in some cases, the vehicle going into limp-home mode.
Furthermore, that same report found that only the most recent rounds of countermeasures appear to be effective in curbing the problems, with earlier attempts in 2016 and 2018 deemed ineffective.
Although these problems haven't commenced a product recall, Toyota currently has a Customer Service Exercise underway to contact all potentially affected owners, and organising a visit to the dealership.
A recent update of the 2.8-litre turbo diesel, which also improved outputs to 150kW/500Nm, has included hardware and software changes to the DPF system. This will "continue to improve the way the DPF operates", according to Sean Hanley, Toyota vice president of sales and marketing.