Toyota Australia is reportedly facing a class action lawsuit over issues with its diesel particulate filters (DPF), specifically in models powered by the new 2.8 litre turbodiesel engine. The affected vehicles are the Hilux, Prado and Fortuner, manufactured between 2015 to 2018, reports CarAdvice.

The legal firm behind the lawsuit claims that its clients have experienced “increased fuel consumption and a loss of power of the vehicle” because “hard deposits accumulating on the DPF oxidisation catalyst” stop the engine from reaching the necessary temperature.

It added that the DPF in these cars may be defective because particulate matters aren’t burned normally in urban driving conditions, where many owners spend their time driving. This creates particulate matter buildup, DPF blockage, foul-smelling emissions from the exhaust, increased fuel use, and greater wear and tear on the engine.

In acknowledging the matter, Toyota has contacted owners, offering to clean or replace the DPF in affected vehicles. A manual regeneration switch has also been retrofitted (now standard on all three models) earlier this year, but the legal firm added that some owners have been dealing with the issues for a number of years, causing “unnecessary inconvenience and expense.”

At the moment, the law firm is investigating possible contraventions of Australian Consumer Law (ACL) regarding “misleading and deceptive conduct” and “omissions equating to misleading and deceptive conduct.”

A potential claim would encompass any repairs that weren’t covered under warranty, a loss of income for tradies with vehicles that were taken off the road by the issue, compensation for any measurable increase in fuel consumption or loss of power, and coverage for any excessive depreciation because of the problem.

In a statement, Toyota Australia said it “launched the latest in a series of initiatives, a customer service campaign, to resolve the potential DPF issue in October.” All customers with potentially affected vehicles have been – or are in the process of being – contacted by letter and subsequently requested to get in touch with their closest or preferred Toyota dealership.

“Toyota dealers will reprogram the engine control module, ensure the DPF has been regenerated and conduct a smoke test. If the smoke test is negative, the DPF will be replaced. All inspection work and replacement, if required, will be completed free of charge to the customer.”