Toyota Faces Potential Coatings Lawsuit

FRIDAY, JANUARY 19, 2024


Automaker Toyota is reportedly facing a potential class-action lawsuit over allegations of peeling white paint on Corolla models built between 2010 and 2014.

According to reports, the allegations state that a specific factory-applied white paint (color code 040) is prone to peeling, and that owners of the Corolla and other Toyota models have experienced this issue.

Allegation Details

A report from BNN states that the new lawsuit will mainly target white Corolla models made from July 12, 2010, to Sept. 30, 2014.

In response to these allegations, Toyota has reportedly acknowledged the issue and has begun a warranty extension program, offering free repairs for 12 years from the date of first registration for the affected models.

Specifically, these repairs are being offered to Corolla and Rukus models produced between September 2007 and December 2015. For vehicles out of warranty, the company stated that it will review the cases individually.

A report from Drive found that owners facing this paint peeling issue have been told to contact Toyota’s Guest Experience Center or their preferred dealer for assistance.

Additionally, William Roberts Lawyers, the firm behind the lawsuit, is reportedly urging any affected Corolla owners to join the legal action and claim compensation for the loss in value and damages.

According to a release from the firm, affected customers include anyone who:

  • Purchased (including through a lease) an affected Toyota Corolla either as new or second hand; and
  • Owned an affected Toyota Corolla but has since sold it.

“In the proposed class action, it will be alleged that the Defect breaches the guarantee as to acceptable quality pursuant to section 54 of the Australian Consumer Law and that Toyota is liable to compensate Affected Consumers for loss and damage caused by the breach,” the firm states in its release.

This will reportedly include damages for any reduction in the vehicle’s value, other foreseeable losses and damages for distress and disappointment. If the defect has already appeared on an affected Toyota Corolla, the release adds, compensation could also include the cost of repair for the defect.

The report from BNN adds that for drivers, the issue is not just a matter of aesthetics, but could also potentially lower the car’s value and the distress caused to the owners.

Previous Issue

In 2022, another report from Drive stated that disgruntled motorists in Australia had taken to Facebook to share their stories on group called “Toyota Australia Peeling Paint.”

The group had grown from 150 members to over 850 at the time of writing, following a story aired on a local news station. At this point, the Facebook group reportedly has around 4,600 members.

According to the report, some customers had said that “envelope sized” paint strips had shed off the vehicle while driving on the highway or while washing their Toyota vehicles, while others posted pictures of the exposed metal affected by corrosion.

“Toyota Australia has received reports of paint peeling,” the company wrote in a statement issued to Drive.

“The condition involves a specific factory-applied white paint color (color code 040) and may occur when sunlight//ultraviolet exposure over time degrades the adhesion between the factory-applied paint primer coat layer and the base metal electrodeposition layer, causing paint to peel from the metal body panel.”

Additionally, several people had also reported identical issues on RAV4 and LandCruiser Prado SUVs.

Toyota Australia had reportedly offered to partially cover the cost of repairs for some owners, but due to the age of the vehicles and being second-hand, full reimbursement or repair was not forthcoming.

The report stated that under Australian Consumer Law, any vehicle bought from 2011 and on had to be of “acceptable quality,” in regard to expectations of how long the product should last.

"These guarantees apply to both new cars and second hand vehicles sold by businesses but not private sales, and include that products supplied are of acceptable quality. That is, that they are safe, durable and with no faults, and do all the things you would normally expect them to do," a spokesperson from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said.

"If a consumer has purchased a product that has a fault, the Australian Consumer Law entitles them to a remedy of either a repair, replacement or refund, depending on the nature of the fault."

Owners in Canada who experienced a similar paint problem were reportedly told Toyota would fix the vehicles as part of a warranty enhancement program for cars dating back as far as 2008.

While the paint peeling problem apparently only affects white cars, some took to Facebook to complain about failing clear coat on red, blue and yellow vehicles—a transparent layer designed to seal and protect paint—though these problems are reportedly not related to the primer coat issues.

   

Tagged categories: Automotive coatings; Business matters; Business operations; Coating Application; Coating failure; Coating Materials; Coating Materials; Coating selection; Coatings; Lawsuits; Paint; Paint application; Paint defects; Peeling; Program/Project Management; Protective Coatings; Rehabilitation/Repair; Safety; Z-Continents

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