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Toyota may have stepped on some toes. Amid an ongoing defective vehicle scandal, the Japanese manufacturer will reportedly be held accountable for faults and loss of value. Judge Michael Lee of the Australian Federal Court stated that the faulty vehicles had taken money out of Australians’ pockets. The Federal Court says that Toyota will pay compensation to Australians for the defective cars.

Which Toyotas are defective?

Toyota Case Will Pay Out For Defective Cars like the Hilux
Toyota Hilux | Getty Images

The developments of the Australian Federal case take root in a 2019 case wherein investigators found several defective cars in the Toyota lineup. According to La Prensa Latina, the first vehicle of note is the famed pickup truck, the Toyota Hilux. The Hilux is a Tacoma cousin and favorite in Asian markets due to its small size, practicality, and renowned durability.

The next vehicle named in the case is the Toyota Fortuner, a close cousin to the American market’s 4Runner. Toyota designed the Fortuner to provide a sporty package in an SUV format. Finally, the original case cites the Toyota Prado as having similar issues to the Hilux and Fortuner. Prado is shorthand for the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, and it is pretty popular. Recently, a Prado J90 variant starred in the James Bond film, No Time To Die.

What kind of defects are Australians experiencing in their Toyotas?

Toyota Fortuner on/off-road review | Car Expert

In 2019, investigators found the Toyota Hilux and similar vehicles to have a defective diesel particulate filter. The filter is important because it could lead to clogged fuel system components and eventually engine failure or other expensive issues. According to the Federal Court’s recent ruling, the diesel particulate filters are still defective and at fault for consumer hardship. In fact, owners have reportedly had to replace the filters multiple times.

Toyota Case Will Pay Out For Defective Cars like the Prado
Toyota Prado | Junko Kimura, Getty Images

The diesel issues aren’t just facing the Hilux owners, either. The court names the Toyota Fortuner as having similar problems. This finding is not surprising, considering that the Fortuner shares a frame with the previously named Hilux. In addition to the Toyota Fortuner, the Toyota Prado is experiencing harmful diesel powerplant-related issues.

The Federal Court attributes the bulk of the defects to the shared powerplants, the 1GD-FTV and 2GD-FTV diesel engines. Specifically, The defective particulate filters have reportedly led to early and increased engine wear for Australian owners. In addition to engine wear, the faulty filters also increased fuel consumption, a costly and ecologically damaging issue.

How much is Toyota going to pay Australian owners?

Toyota Hilux Arctic Explorer
2007 Toyota Hilux Arctic Explorer | Getty Images

The case declared that all filters fitted to the vehicles in question between October 2015 and April 2020 were faulty. As a result of that finding, the scandal has impacted an estimated 260,000 Australian citizens and companies. Additionally, as Judge Michael Lee ruled, the scandal has cost Australians in terms of vehicle value. The Judge says that the vehicles are worth an estimated 17.5 percent less due to the defects.

The law teams representing the plaintiffs suggested that the compensation to the affected parties would be around AUD 2 billion. In response to the case, a spokesperson from Toyota reportedly said that Toyota takes calculated steps to solve its customers’ issues. Furthermore, the spokesperson stated that Toyota would evaluate the Australian Judge’s decision.

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