The Japanese company has sold more than 250 thousand cars in Australia with defective diesel particulate filters for five years.
Federal Court of Australia has found Toyota guilty of using defective particulate filters in diesel engines of several hundreds of thousands of cars. In this connection, the Japanese may be obliged to pay $1.5 billion in compensation to car owners, reports Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC).
The investigation revealed that between October 2015 and April 2020, Toyota sold more than 264,000 Fortuner and LC Prado SUVs and HiLux pickup trucks in the country equipped with defective filters. It has been revealed, that these components do not retain harmful particles, but increase fuel consumption. In addition, because of poor-quality filters, the wear and tear of the power units increases.
The court ruled that each problem car lost an average of 17.5% or $7,000 (approximately $5,200) in value. At the same time, some car owners can demand even more compensation from the company if they can prove that they faced additional costs due to the defect and increased fuel consumption. The total amount of fines could reach about 2 billion Australian dollars ($1.5 billion).
“Hundreds of thousands of Australian citizens who bought these cars now have to face losses. I hope that today’s court ruling will satisfy the many people who, like me, have experienced the frustration and inconvenience of the additional costs of operating these cars,” said Ken Williams, the lead plaintiff in the case.
Toyota, in its turn, noted that they would study the court’s decision carefully, and only after that, they would make an official statement.