Toyota Kenya is in trouble after a lawsuit was filed against the company by its customers who have moved to court seeking to halt the sale of products locally on claims that the buses are faulty.
The suit was jointly filed by City Star Shuttle Co. Ltd, Beauty Wholesale (K) Ltd, Chania Prestige Shuttle Ltd, Martin Mwangi Njoki, Mungai Kinuthia, Nancy Nyambura Githuku, Peter Kamau Ng’ang’a, Ruth Wangui Korio, Peter Maina Njuguna, Charles Njoroge Ng’ang’a, and George Nguku Njihia.
They claim that the product supplied by Toyota Kenya’s local dealer, Nairobi Hino, developed serious mechanical hitches a few months after purchase.
They said that, one particular Toyota brand, the Hino FC500, developed fatal engine and overheating problems, brake system letdowns and chassis cracking, even before expiry of their warranties.
“No brand new vehicles develop such a multiplicity of problems resulting in total grounding, even lack of spare parts replacement, without a manufacturer’s defect. Toyota Kenya had capped the warranty at 100,000 kilometers or 36 months, whichever was earlier,” argue the buyers in their court filing.
Nairobi Hino Ltd recalled the buses and trucks for repair, but the plaintiffs say that the buses have not been released for lack of replacement parts, yet Tsusho Capital Kenya Ltd, who financed the purchase of the buses, still demands the settlement of the loans.
The buyers further sued the Kenya Bureau of Standards and Tsusho Capital Kenya, a financier affiliate of Toyota Kenya.
Lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui representing the buyers said, “Since the inability of Toyota Kenya, and Nairobi Hino Ltd, to resolve these patent engine problems with the Hino FC500 model has made the vehicles’ commercial viability totally impossible, the resultant grounding of these PSV buses has thus triggered a default with Tsusho Capital Kenya, which it has become deaf to, totally against the principles of equity,”
The buyers accused Toyota Kenya of demanding millions in repair costs yet the trucks and PSV buses had done less than 20,000 kilometers, under warranties.