Secret documents have revealed there are known mechanical faults in some of Australia’s best-selling utes – but they won’t get fixed unless owners complain.
The documents show that the Toyota HiLux is the subject of a high volume of ‘service bulletins’ relating to known faults – but they aren’t serious enough to warrant a safety recall, news.com.au reported.
News Corp was the first to obtain the documents which show that Toyota HiLux owners may face issues with the diesel particulate filters (DPF) becoming clogged.
Secret documents revealed that the Toyota HiLux is the subject of a high volume of ‘service bulletins’ relating to a number of known faults
This can cause the exhaust to blow ‘excessive amounts’ of white smoke which in turn corrupts air sensors which become contaminated by dust.
To get this flaw fixed dealers say the owner must return the vehicle four separate times, according to the documents.
The first three times the dealer will ‘re-gen’ flush in an attempt to fix the problem without replacing the filters and only on the fourth time will the filter be replaced completely.
Adding to the filter issues, a number of Toyota dealerships are also trying to repair faulty drive shafts, which will only be fully addressed upon a second visit.
The first time taking a HiLux to a dealer with drive shaft issues the mechanics will try to fix the issue by machining them.
If that fails and the customer returns then the dealership will purchase a brand new ‘rear propeller shaft slide joint’ to fix the fault.
To get one flaw fixed dealers say the owner must return the vehicle four separate times
News Corp contacted Toyota which released a statement saying the company apologised sincerely to any of their affected customers and confirmed they were doing everything in their power to address the faults.
The Ford Ranger is the second best-selling ute in Australia, behind the HiLux, and it also has some faults of its own, according to news.com.au.
It was reported that Ford has had to replace whole engines in a number of near-new Rangers with some others known to have faults with intercooler pipes splitting, rear main oil seals leaking and harsh transmission shifts.
It was originally theorised that the major engine faults were a result of ‘poor quality fuel’ however Ford is yet to confirm exactly what is causing the catastrophic engine failures in some of their products.
It was reported that Ford has had to replace whole engines in a number of near-new Rangers with some others known to have faults with intercooler pipes splitting
But just like HiLux owners, owners of the Ford Ranger need to take it back to a dealership and complain before anything can be done to fix their vehicle.
Meanwhile, owners of current generation Isuzu utes should also be aware of potential faults including cracks under the bonnet and suspension.
The ACCC has recommended that the industry look into creating more transparency with their customer base including widespread ‘bulletins’ of any potential faults.
The executive director of the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association, Stuart Charity, said transparency was a supremely important factor.
‘The sharing of technical service bulletins are essential to the scheme … these are known faults and fixes, independent repairers are currently spending hours trying to troubleshoot faults that the car company is already aware of,’ he said.
‘Without this transparency there’s no incentive for car companies to improve their vehicles.
‘Hopefully, car companies won’t be able to hide this repair information in the near future.’
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