Toyota has announced this week it will pursue legal action against parties accused of supplying counterfeit airbag parts for fitment to some of its vehicles.
Specifically, Toyota will allege it is the victim of ‘trademark infringement’ and ‘misleading and deceptive conduct’, saying it is “concerned that customers have been misled into believing they have purchased a genuine Toyota part”.
The move follows a six-month investigation, and will target two independent retailers in the Federal Court.
The retailers are accused of supplying counterfeit airbag spiral cables advertised as being genuine Toyota items.
Toyota has not revealed if it believes any of the spiral cables have led to injury or death in Toyota vehicles fitted with airbags that have been involved in collisions after having the counterfeit parts fitted.
But the carmaker did say it is concerned about such outcomes, as its internal testing revealed the counterfeit items were of inferior quality to Toyota’s genuine parts.
Toyota added it expects the retailers in question to contact Toyota owners who may have received a counterfeit airbag part during repair. Furthermore, Toyota expects the counterfeit parts to be exchanged for genuine Toyota items at no cost to the consumer.
An airbag spiral cable would only have been replaced in vehicles that have been involved in a collision that caused the airbag to deploy, so Toyota customers with vehicles that have never been damaged should be unaffected.
This issue is in no way related to the wide-reaching recall over Takata airbags, which includes thousands of Toyota models in Australia and overseas.