Toyota NZ hit with class action alleging thousands of faulty cars sold in New Zealand

The models were manufactured from October 2015.
The models were manufactured from October 2015. Photo credit: File

A class action lawsuit has been filed alleging thousands of Toyota cars sold in New Zealand since 2015 are faulty.

Shine Lawyers filed the lawsuit at Palmerston North High Court last month, which estimated 35,000 Hilux, Fortuner and Prado models had been fitted with a defective diesel particulate filter.

The models were manufactured from 1 October 2015 and fitted with a 1GD-FTV engine or 2GD-FTV engine.

The filter was required for the cars to meet Euro 5 emission standards.

The fault meant it produced foul-smelling white smoke and was believed to negatively affect performance and efficiency, Senior Associate Hamish Davies said.

"The proceedings allege that this would likely reduce the value of the vehicles and the lawsuit is seeking compensation for affected owners."

Owners could have incurred repair costs, excess GST and finance costs paid when purchasing their vehicle, inspection fees, service costs, and loss of income connected to owning a defective vehicle, he said.

The Australian Federal Court ruled in favour of 250,000 owners in a similar case in 2019, finding the value of the vehicles was reduced by 10 percent.

"Even if your vehicle was repaired or sold on, you could still be entitled to compensation," Davies said.

The class action was being funded by Court House Capital, an Australian-based litigation funder.

Meanwhile, Toyota New Zealand said it would defend the class action lawsuit.

"Toyota has been and remains committed to assisting any customer whose vehicle experiences a [filter] issue and will continue to provide any related repairs free of charge. This has been our position to date, and we will defend the class action announced today," a company spokesperson said.

"As this matter is now before the courts, we have no further comment."

Toyota New Zealand provided RNZ with a standard filter guide for Toyota vehicles, but it made no mention of the faulty filters.