Lawyers have started uttering the words every corporation fears – Class Action – in relation to truck maker Hino’s recently published admission that it had falsified fuel efficiency and emissions results, which potentially affects up 860,000 trucks around the planet. Locally Hino has stopped importing the affected models until its parent resolves issues with the Japanese authorities.
Hino;s own investigations revealed that , the company had falsified emissions data on some engines dating back to at least 2003, which is said to be more than a decade earlier than previously admitted.
a total of 26 different Hino engines are reportedly affected by the falsified data with at least 39,000 Hino trucks purchased in Australia from 2012 to 2021, may be fitted with the engines.
A class action lawsuit has already been brought recently in the United States, and locally several law firms are looking at mounting what they say are ‘significant Australia-wide class actions against Hino Motor Sales Australia over the falsified data’, including Sydney based Gerard Malouf and partners, along with Bannister Law.
The latter practice, Bannister Law, recent won a class action against Toyota over issues with DPF filters on various diesel models, as well as winning ases against Volkswagen and Audi over DieselGate.
At the time Hino blamed an ‘inward-looking corporate culture and management’s failure to engage sufficiently with workers that led to an environment that put greater priority on achieving schedules and numerical targets than following processes’.
It has since been revealed that one of the main motivators for the fraud was the use of government tax advantages it would gain in nits home country of Japan.
“Hino aimed to achieve the fuel consumption standards in order to be eligible for tax preferential treatment but failed to achieve its goal, and thus, it engaged in misconduct by intentionally adjusting the calibration values of the fuel flowmeter in order to meet the specification values required for application,” tHino said in its report.
In a similar way to the scandal that affected VW, the Hino fraud involved manipulation of data which measured the idling fuel flow quantity before the fuel flow quantity was stabilised, which meant it had engaged in misconduct by intentionally selecting advantageous fuel consumption data.
Bannister Law is calling for all Australians who owned or leased a Hino truck at any point between 2004 and 2021 to register in an online form. GMPLaw’s online registration site for affected Hino owners is: www.hinoclassaction.com.au