Australians Launch $1 Billion Lawsuit against Toyota for Emissions Scandal

Lawyers in Australia launched a lawsuit against one of the most popular carmakers in the world. The case involves around 500,000 diesel vehicles that are allegedly equipped with defeat devices intended to manipulate emissions tests.

According to the lawyers, Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Limited allegedly developed diesel engines with design elements for enhancing vehicle performance by manipulating emissions control systems. As such, during testing, the vehicles are programmed to perform in a manner that adheres to emissions regulations.

The emissions control system works differently, though, once the vehicles are driven on real-world road conditions. Thus, Toyota diesel vehicles pass the regulatory tests but allegedly emit excessive amounts of nitrogen oxide or NOx once they are outside laboratory conditions.

As Toyota is one of the most trusted car brands in Australia, the lawsuit is expected to affect more carmakers than the original 500,000 indicated in the claims. Thousands of car owners may be driving pollutant vehicles on Australian roads.

The lawsuit covers both brand-new and second-hand diesel-powered models that were bought in Australia on or before February 7, 2016. The affected models are:

  • RAV4 vehicles equipped with 2.2-litre 2AD-FHV or 2AD-FTV engine
  • LandCruiser with 4.5-litre 1VD-FTV 195 kW to 200 kW engine
  • LandCruiser equipped with 3.3-litre F33A-FTV engine
  • HiLux that has a 2.4-litre 2GD-FTV engine
  • HiAce, Granvia, Fortuner, LandCruiser Prado, and HiLux vehicles that are equipped with a 2.8-litre 1GD-FTV engine

If the class-action lawsuit is successful, carmakers stand to receive thousands of dollars each.
This case is separate from a previous claim that focused on the carmaker’s faulty DPFs or diesel particulate filters. The said class action involves defective Toyota vehicles that were sold to consumers who have no idea that they purchased Prado, Fortuner, and HiLux cars with compromised performance. Over 264,000 vehicles were sold between 2015 October and 2020 April.

This new claim is focused on Toyota’s under-reporting of the harmful emission levels that their diesel vehicles produced, an act that violates Australian Consumer Law.

Toyota denied the allegations against them and firmly said that they will continue to adhere to their monitoring, reporting, and evaluation standards for vehicle emissions. The carmaker vowed to defend the class action rigorously.

Volkswagen’s Dieselgate scandal

The class-action lawsuit against Toyota is one of the many repercussions of the diesel emissions scandal that initially involved the Volkswagen Group in September 2015. The German carmaker received a notice of violation after authorities in the United States unearthed defeat devices installed in Volkswagen and Audi vehicles that were sold to consumers in America. The devices can sense when a vehicle is in the laboratory for regulatory testing, and this allows them to reduce emissions levels to within the World Health Organization’s (WHO) safe and legal limits. Inside the lab, the vehicle appears emissions-compliant, but out on the road, it pollutes the air with unlawful levels of NOx emissions.

The VW Group deceived their customers into buying pollutant vehicles for a premium price. They also exposed car owners to the harmful effects of nitrogen oxides. This incident became known as the Dieselgate scandal.

Aside from the Volkswagen Group, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Vauxhall, and Renault have also been implicated in the scandal. Toyota is one of the latest to be added to the extensive list of vehicles involved in the diesel emissions scandal. The list keeps getting longer every year.

What are the harmful effects of nitrogen oxide?

Nitrogen oxide or NOx is a group of gases that reacts with other chemicals or elements. It has nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO) as primary components, which both contribute to adverse effects on the environment and your general health.

One of the actions that NOx is known for is the creation of acid rain and smog. Additionally, it also produces ground-level ozone, which is responsible for damaging crops, plants, and other vegetation.

Your mental health can be affected as well if you are regularly exposed to NOx emissions. You may experience frequent episodes of depression and anxiety.

NOx emissions also affect your cognitive health, which means you can become more vulnerable to dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

What you should worry about the most, though, are the impacts of nitrogen oxide emissions on your overall health. The effects vary from mild to serious health conditions:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fluid often gets into the lungs
  • Emphysema, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions
  • Asthma
  • Asphyxiation
  • Spasms of the vocal cords
  • Chronic reduction of lung function
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Premature death

These impacts, along with the alleged lies and mis-selling, are the reasons why you have the right to bring forward a diesel claim against your carmaker. If proven by the courts, it is the corporate responsibility of the carmakers to answer to the environmental conveniences they subjected you to; it is their responsibility as well to compensate you for the health-related dangers they exposed you to.

How should I file my diesel claim?

There are two options you can choose from: file the claim on your own or join a group litigation action. First off, however, you need to verify your eligibility to bring forward a diesel claim as only certain models are affected by the defeat devices.

It’s simple – all you have to do is visit and you’ll get all the information you need to jumpstart your claims process. Check out their website now.

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