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The truth about Toyota 2.8 DPF blockage. (Bonus: Lawyers at dawn - yesssss!)

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A battle is brewing over the reliability status of Toyota’s 2.8-litre diesel in Hilux, Fortuner and Prado. Some people say DPF failures in these vehicles are too common.

Toyota, having invested billions in the perception of reliability, recently let its lawyers off the chain, seemingly devoted to what I consider the grubby pursuit of shutting detractors up (never a good look, in my view).

Berrima Diesel Service is a small business with a decent name in servicing, modification and repairs. The company specialises in spanner-spinning for the blue singlet set.

The chaps at Berrima have been vocally critical of alleged 2.8 Toyota DPF failures, on Facebook. On Monday March the 19th they put up a post titled ‘Total Recall?’ and in part it said:

"Could this be the Official word! We've been posting up loudly the issues OUR customers that come to us have been having. Finally..... are Toyota fixing what could only be called a disregard for Australian Warranty Laws?? Failing DPFs on the Hilux, Prado and Fortuner range of the new common rail 2.8 Diesels. We have loads of customers that we don't even know, calling by the shop asking for help!"

Toyota’s butt-hurt lawyers responded with the threat of a Supreme Court injunction just four days later - a neat two-pager that was slightly more literate than Berrima diesel’s post, but still disgracefully clumsy in my view.

Interestingly, their only gripe appears to be that Berrima Diesel used the ‘R’ word (recall) when in fact no recall has been issued by Toyota.
Just for context I should tell you that recalls in Australia are issued only for serious potential safety defects. Serious defects that are not safety related operate wholly outside the recall rubric.

These non-safety faults are dealt with under the radar. They’re called ‘service bulletins’ or ‘service campaigns’ - and this is the house of semantic promiscuity Toyota’s butt-hurt appears to be built on.

The letter is a strident accusation that the post or posts are (quote) “false, misleading, inflammatory and defamatory”. Plus a predictable demand for their removal, and an apology and retraction (with the wording to be pre-approved by Toyota, naturally).

Failure to comply, the letter says, will result in Toyota commencing injunction proceedings in the Supreme Court - where the big T threatens to procure the removal of the posts, the apology its butt-hurt feelings apparently demand, plus damages and costs.

Personal opinion: It’s always important to listen for what’s not being said, if you want the truth. Nowhere in Toyota’s two-page butt-hurt missive do they allege the DPF installation is robust and reliable.
They just don’t like the word ‘recall’ apparently.

This behaviour - opinion - is disgraceful and undignified, but also amazing.

“Your misuse of Facebook to post false, misleading, inflammatory and defamatory posts has damaged and continues to damage TMCA and its reputation.”

This appears to be a proportionally absurd statement. How would we measure the damage to Toyota and its reputation? Sales is probably the best way. Toyota is the top-selling carmaker in Australia - and sales are up 16.4 per cent so far this year, and 12.1 per cent up for February (the most recent month for which sales data is available).
Hilux was the top-selling vehicle in the whole country in February. 4X4 Hilux sales were up almost 37 per cent in February, and more than 40 per cent, year to date. Exactly what damage are these arsehole lawyers talking about? How do they look at their own reflections in the mirror with a straight face?

“TMCA will be advising Facebook of your misuse of its social media platform”

To Toyota’s legal team and senior executive management I’d suggest engaging with reality is the thing to do at this point.

And then of course there’s the fundamental issue of the DPF and its in-service robustness or otherwise:

“Ordered a 2018 Prado recently - before discovering the DPF problem. After alerting my friendly dealer to the real prospect of an urgent warranty call from the middle of the Canning Stock Route I'm advised to take an ODB2 Scanner in order to do a manual DPF Regen just like the Dealer's service shop.” - GreyNomad

That’s a comment from yesterday. If you’re not from around here, the Canning Stock Route is arguably Australia’s most arduous off-road adventure. 1800 kilometres of busted-arse desert wilderness that not even a dingo would dignify by pissing on.

At times you can be 600 miles from the nearest espresso machine. It’s scary stuff. No drive throughs. No WiFi. No YouTube. Complete sensory deprivation.

I think that’s very interesting advice from the dealer, about the scanner. It probably would not have been forthcoming if the DPF installation were rock solid.
Category
Fails

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