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KENYA: Group Sues Toyota Kenya Over Alleged Unsafe Alterations Of Buses

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KENYA: Group Sues Toyota Kenya Over Alleged Unsafe Alterations Of Buses

A lawsuit has been filed against Toyota Kenya concerning the suitability and safety of its Hino trucks and buses for local roads.

The Consumer Federation of Kenya (COFEK) maintained that it is evident that the automobile company, Toyota Kenya has altered its Hino buses without following the right processes and procedures to ensure the safety and suitability of these buses; making them prone to accidents and breakdowns.

The plaintiff, in a court petition, said that the automobile company has modified its 28-seater Hino 300 buses into 33-seaters, making them heavier than the base frame of the vehicle.

COFEK further pointed out that some of its members have been affected and that it notified Toyota Kenya last November, that many other vehicle owners had similar complaints about the malfunctioning Hino buses.

According to COFEK in its issued court papers;

“Toyota Kenya is purporting to pass the responsibility of the defective vehicles to members of the public by selling a vehicle with a modified chassis which they claim is originally a 33-seater bus,”

The company stated that;

“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,”

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, overheating, brake system failure, and chassis cracking even before the expiry of their warranties.

Toyota Kenya, however, wants the case struck out. According to them, COFEK lacks the legal capacity to institute the case, adding that the case does not disclose a constitutional law issue.

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