Fortuner Fortuna class action





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  1. #1
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    Default Fortuna class action

    Hi All

    I received my quote for the tyre replacement from Toyota today, now I am going to tackle them hands on as they have given me a written acknowledgement of the existence of the problem, and a further expression of their desire to make money out of solving their own FU.

    I have this morning sent the below letter to my attorney and so I ask all who have suffered from this problem to list their names here in the interests of starting a class action.

    PLEASE PLEASE DONOT start another Fortuna thread 400 pages long, understand that no one cares whether or not you think this is right or wrong, clever or dumb, fair or unfair, tyres or suspension, I AM taking legal action against Toyota now, I only want to know how many want to join me on the road to an equitable solution.

    Regards
    Donald Pittendrigh

    Letter to attorney follows :-

    I don’t know if you are aware of the trouble Toyota has with the suspension of the new Fortuna, the car has a problem which makes it unstable on corrugated dirt roads and several have been known to flip as a consequence.

    Toyota does not deny the problem, and when you approach them about resolution, they offer to change the tyres admitting that the tyres originally fitted to the vehicle were defective and so passing the buck elsewhere.

    When the tyres arrive they try to con the owner into paying for the wear on the original tyres before effecting the changeout.

    As far as I am concerned, the tyre solution is a crock of you know what, the problem lies in the spring constant which is a fundamental characteristic of the suspension components and can’t be resolved in any way other than by replacement of at least the springs, and probably the shocks too.

    I have spent more than R30K on my Landcruiser getting it to perform exactly the way I want, this was not because of a defect but rather because I added a great deal of weight to the back of the vehicle for touring purposes, and so caused a negative effect on the overall system. The point here is that having spent the money with a specialist engineer to resolve the problem, I have done significant research into the conditions and so am quite sure of my opinion in the matter.

    On top of this, the same chap, Ted Garstang of Afrishox in Jhb, who did my Cruiser shocks, is now marketing a suspension upgrade to the Fortuna to make it safe for non tarred road use (in our case it is a 4x4 so this is sort of implied as being within the vehicles competence when it is purchased) The solution marketed by Ted is apparently a great success and has caused the few people I have heard from who have had it done, a great deal of relief and happiness, the cost is around R10K.

    I have a quote from Toyota for R3478.98 for the tyre swap out, so now the following points.

    1) Is Toyota justified in introducing a vehicle into the market with a known serious suspension/tyre problem, significant enough to cause vehicle rollover, to the obvious danger of the occupants and goodness knows how many other road users.
    2) Are they mitigated in taking this soft approach in resolving the known problem, are they not in some way obliged to make a vehicle recall and rectify the problem at their own cost.
    3) If Toyota’s solution to the problem is correct, do they have the right to retrospectively force me to use a specific tyre for the rest of my cars life, which tyre is not manufactured by Toyota and therefore the availability of this specific tyre for the projected lifespan of the Fortuna not guaranteed.
    4) What happens if we go for this tyre replacement and it costs R3.5K and does not solve the problem.
    5) The proposed solution ties me to a tyre which is essentially a radial for on road use, and totally inappropriate for offroad use on any 4 x 4 (General grabber - it would look more in place on my Audi Quattro than a 4 x 4)

    There are probably countless other things legally wrong with what they are doing however the real pain for a Toyota fan such as myself, is the way Toyota South Africa is wiping its proverbial on their users.

    I personally believe there are enough people with this problem to institute a class action against Toyota however wether or not this is feasible in the current legal system of our great country, I am planning to take whatever action I can against them to have my personal problem resolved properly and finally, I find it morally repulsive that I purchase a car which purports to be an offroad vehicle, which does not have the competence to handle a corrugated dirt road, and which threatens the life and safety of my wife and children every time it leaves the tarred road.

    This car is Charlottes daily driver and it does not often leave the tarred road, but this trouble began in earnest earlier this year when we spent a week in the Drakensburg and I realised how dangerous the car is at any speed in excess of 40KM/hr on a dirt road.

    Please let me know if you think there may be some merit in this case, I am publishing this letter on the 4x4 community forums website in an attempt to see what support I could garner for a class action should things go that way.

    Regards
    Donald Pittendrigh

    Admin note: added bold print
    Last edited by Spike; 2008/11/29 at 12:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Toyota Fortuner - Class Action

    I'm most certainly interested in joining in on a class action against Toyota regarding their lack of interest and response in resolving the Fortuner's handling instability.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterachterberg View Post
    I'm most certainly interested in joining in on a class action against Toyota regarding their lack of interest and response in resolving the Fortuner's handling instability.
    A class action can be conducted to recover damages suffered by the Fortuna users, the costs of the action are shared by those that make the class action, so it is cheap for the complainants. This is quite common in the US, I dont know if it is possible in SA. We will find out.

    We cannot tackle Toyota for not caring, that is not illegal, we can only tackle them for distibuting a vehicle which endangers public safety, for misrepresentation of the product and for refusal to attend to admitted latent defects in terms of their warranty agremeent.

    I personally do not understand what it is that makes Toyota behave in this shortsighted way, they have a problem, they have admitted that and they have not recalled one single vehicle, that is gross dereliction of their public responsibility and it cannot be allowed to go unpunished.

    DP

  4. #4
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    Like you said, they do this in the states very often with great success. I take my hat of to you for tackling this head on

    If you do succeed in this type of lawsuit in SA it will be a significant victory for consumers in general in this country, as it will certainly, in my opinion, set a precident for future issues of a similar nature, and I mean in general, not just in the motor industry

    Best of luck. If I had a fortuner I would not hesitate to join you in this.
    Christo Davids
    Land Cruiser 105 4500 EFI
    Hilux 2.8GD6 Extracab 4x4

  5. #5
    4ePajero Guest

    Default

    Please use this thread for the "Class Action" discussion only.

    Technical discussions on the Fortuner suspension & handling should still go in the "Handling" thread:

    Here.

    Mods.

  6. #6

    Default Class action

    I am interested in joining you too.
    FortunerDude

    4.0l Petrol Fortuner.

  7. #7
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    Default

    I will most definately join you too.

    Toyota think that as we are only individuals they can brush us off!

  8. #8
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    What happened to this exercise?

  9. #9
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    Default

    Donald,
    Please let us know what the responce to the letter was. I'm sure there is a lot more paople that is interested. I don't have one of those vehicles but would of joined.
    2000 Nissan Patrol 4.5GRX
    <a href="http://www.fuelly.com/driver/Gwantas/patrol" target="_blank"><img src="http://mefi.us/images/fuelly/sig-metric/129386.png" width="500" height="63" alt="Fuelly" title="Share and compare MPG at Fuelly" border="0"/></a>

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reinier Claasen View Post
    Donald,
    Please let us know what the responce to the letter was. I'm sure there is a lot more paople that is interested. I don't have one of those vehicles but would of joined.
    Gents

    My apologies if I have been less than communicative about this issue, but my attorney has been on leave and has just returned. As a Toyota Landcruiser user and a frequent outdoors user himself, he immediately understands the issue I have presented and feels that TSA has significantly more obligations to the Fortuner owner than they have demonstrated thus far.

    As regards the class action proposal, there have indeed been successfully implemented class action instances in SA, the example quoted to me was the recent release of noxious gass by Foskor here in Richards Bay where a group of people affected tackled foskor in a class action, so there is established legal precedent for this in SA.

    The next step, well I am not certain at this time, I have suggested that for starters we will fire a shot across the bows of the TSA animal and inform them that we will in due course be mobilising a class action with the intention of having the sale of the faulty vehicles cancelled on the grounds of intentional misrepresentation of the goods. Until there is a reaction from TSA refusing to rectify the known and acknowledged defect, there is very little to take them to court over. I am not concerned about what may have been said to other people in other places at this stage as the job to sift through the mass of information available on the subject, just isnt mitigated when the above shot across the bows will produce an official reaction and something that we can then base a proposal for further action upon.

    Please dont hold your breathe while you wait though, these wheels in my experience take a long time to turn, and undoubtedly there will be little or no action before mid January in the light of the current holiday season.

    I will keep everyone informed once tangible progress is started, remembering that in a class action there must be a common goal and a sharing of costs, it will be neccessary to have some discussion around this and those participating will have dountless to make some kind of financial commitment to the efforts we propose to make. I will take responsibility for the costs of the first communique with TSA and we will see what comes after that.

    I havent visited this thread for some time but I gather from the deleted posts above that some off topic heat has already occurred here, and that perhaps being provoked by my unintentional spelling of Fortuna and some reaction thereto, so can I please add once again the request that this thread be restricted to on topic comment and interaction by those who intend to participate in the class action proposal, there are enough other places to express opinions on wether this should or should not be done, or is or isn't mitigated, let us please reserve this particular space for those who are doing something about the problem in this particular chosen way, and keep the rest of the traffic for the other slots on this topic.

    Regards
    Donald Pittendrigh

  11. #11
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    Default

    To provide closure on this issue, about 4 people on this forum and about another 4 that have contacted me off the forum, totaling around 8 respondants, sadly nowhere near enough to mitigate the legal hassle that this is going to take to do this class action. Toyota is not going to be intimidated and it is going to cost plenty and take long.

    I am going to opt for the R10K suspension upgrade that Afrishox has successfully performed, and I am never going to buy another toyota, as soon as I can be sure our Fortuner isnt going to kill anyone, I am going to dump it and buy a jeep in its place, in fact I am seriously considering trading in my Landcruiser on a 110 Landrover in disgust.

    Donald P

  12. #12
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    I think this has already started affecting the Fortuner sales, they used to sell around 600-700 per month and are now only selling between 300-400.

    Word spreads very fast!

  13. #13

    Default Selling Fortuner

    Quote Originally Posted by CruiserUser View Post
    To provide closure on this issue, about 4 people on this forum and about another 4 that have contacted me off the forum, totaling around 8 respondants, sadly nowhere near enough to mitigate the legal hassle that this is going to take to do this class action. Toyota is not going to be intimidated and it is going to cost plenty and take long.

    I am going to opt for the R10K suspension upgrade that Afrishox has successfully performed, and I am never going to buy another toyota, as soon as I can be sure our Fortuner isnt going to kill anyone, I am going to dump it and buy a jeep in its place, in fact I am seriously considering trading in my Landcruiser on a 110 Landrover in disgust.

    Donald P
    Thanks for letting us know. I am starting to think along the same lines. My Fortuner's handling problems are sorted out (Camil suspension and Bridgestone AT), but the latest reports of airbags not deploying, etc, is getting me really worried.

    At one stage I thought of going for a Prado, but the Pajero is looking at a more attractive and non-Toyota option for me.
    FortunerDude

    4.0l Petrol Fortuner.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by FortunerDude View Post
    but the latest reports of airbags not deploying, etc, is getting me really worried.
    What airbag reports are these? Is there a general problem?

    I only know about the Yaris recall on the pre-tensioners.

    I do recall a Fortuner comment once of a guy that rolled and the airbags did not deploy.

    One should remember that airbags only deploy above certain speeds, and subject to abrupt movement in a certain direction. I.e. on a side impact collision from the right, only the right-hand side curtain/seat airbags deploy.

    Solareff - Solar PV Specialists
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  15. #15
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    I never thought this class action would work. Reality is that more people are happy with the Tuna's than unhappy. I also dont believe the story that Toyota does not care. They did try something (although I think blaming the tyres was wrong) and they did upgarde the newer models.

    DP, I wish you luck with your Jeep or your Rand Lover. Personnaly I would rather buy the Nissan, but thankfully I am one of the happy Tuna owners.

    Regards,

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