Toyota Kenya has been sued again in relation to the suitability of its Hino trucks and buses for the local roads.
Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) argues that Toyota Kenya has modified its Hino buses without following the right procedures, making them prone to accidents and breakdowns.
The consumer lobby in a court petition says that the modified its 28-seater Hino 300 buses into 33-seaters, making them heavier than the chassis — frame of the car.
Cofek argues that a number of its members have been affected and that it notified Toyota Kenya last November that there were many other vehicle owners who had similar complaints about the malfunctioning Hino buses.
“Toyota Kenya Ltd is purporting to pass responsibility of the defective vehicles to members of the public by selling a vehicle with a modified chassis which they claim is originally 33-seater bus,” Cofek in court papers.
Toyota Kenya, however, wants the case struck out, saying Cofek lacks the legal capacity to institute the case, and neither does the case disclose a constitutional law issue.
“There is a case pending before the High Court that raises similar issues. The filing of the present case by Cofek, without disclosing the pending matter, amounts to an abuse of court process as it invites potential conflicting decisions being arrived at by different courts on similar matters,” the company says in court papers.
In the earlier court suit, buyers of the HINO FC500 model trucks and buses alleged that the vehicles developed common problems ranging from faulty engines and overheating, brake system failure, and chassis cracking even before expiry of their warranties.
Toyota Kenya said in a response to the case filed at the High Court that its vehicles are durable and reliable if maintained and serviced in accordance with its recommendations.