Two Australian law firms are calling for interest from owners of affected Hino trucks for a possible class action suit against Hino Motor Sales Australia (HMSA).
Late last week Bannister Law announced that it was investigating the legal action in response to the news from Japan that parent company Hino Motors Ltd Japan had falsified emissions data on some engines going back almost 20 years.
Bannister Law said it was trying to see if Hino had breached the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 and the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989.
Earlier today, Gerard Malouf and partners, GMPLaw, followed with a media release along similar lines.
GMPLaw says it wants to hear from owners, or those who have leased the affected diesel vehicles either new or second-hand from 2003.
“The damages contemplated will likely be very significant per individual or company involved and will cover a portion of the purchase price,” said GMPLaw in the media statement.
“GMPLaw states that it is reprehensible of Hino to misrepresent critical aspects of a vehicle’s performance sold into the worldwide market ,causing financial loss to new or second-hand purchasers but as importantly causing enormous environmental damage through excessive emissions.”
For more information, and to register interest, truck owners can visit a dedicated website, hinoclassaction.com.au.
Bannister Law has also set up a specific web page for the potential legal action.
“Bannister Law Class Actions is seeking the registration of all those that owned or leased for the period 2004-2021 of all model’s year 2004-2021 trucks to investigate the Australian application of the report findings that may infringe on emissions regulations and fuel representations to consumers and business operators of the vehicles,” it reads.
Just three days ago, a US law firm, Lieff Cabraser, started a class action against Hino over the same concerns, reports news.com.au.
“Lieff Cabraser is investigating reports that Hino Motors and majority Hino owner Toyota Motor Corporation (the Japanese parent of Toyota North America) have publicly admitted to intentionally cheating on their bus and truck vehicles’ emissions,” the legal company stated.
The case has been brought to the Southern District of Florida and the firm confirmed it was seeking more than $5 million in damages.
HMSA has been approached for comment.
Earlier this month HMSA announced it had suspended imports, orders and deliveries to local dealers of the models impacted by the engine emissions investigation.
The distributor of Hino vehicles in Australia said it was awaiting the outcome of Hino Motors engagement with the authorities in Japan.
A detailed report has identified misconduct in relation to Japanese emissions certification tests that have been relied on for the sale of a number of engine variants in Hino 500 Series Standard Cab FC, FD and FE medium-duty trucks and Hino Poncho buses sold in Australia.
The misconduct concerning engine certification does not affect the drivability of the affected vehicles and raises no vehicle safety concerns, stressed Hino, a subsidiary of Toyota.