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Consumer lobby sues Toyota over modified bus chassis

By Faith Karanja | December 18th 2018
By Faith Karanja | December 18th 2018

Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) has sued Toyota Kenya, accusing it of selling vehicles with a modified chassis yet passing it off as originally 33-seater bus.

Cofek argues that Toyota Motors Corporation is the licensed manufacturer of chassis and Toyota Kenya should restrict itself to being an assembly of completely knocked down parts, retail and sales.

It contends that Toyota Kenya has failed to make formal disclosure to the public that it was modifying 28-seater Hino buses into 33 seaters hence making the weight of the motor vehicles heavier than the chassis.

Frequent breakdowns

As a result, a lot of breakages on the vehicles are inevitable, argues Cofek in court papers.

“Toyota is purporting to pass responsibility of the said defective vehicles to the public,” said lawyer Akusala Boniface for Cofek.

Toyota Motors Corporation, Tsusho Capital, Kenya Bureau of Standards and Arvinder Sigh have been cited as respondents in the case.

The federation claims that together with the consumers, they are likely to suffer irreparable damage from the continued acts of respondents, which and equally amounts to violation and infringement of their constitutional rights.

Tsusho Company is being accused of failing to drop lending rates from 22 per cent to 14 per cent even after the Banking (Amendment) Act became law on September 24, 2016.

The federation claims that there are other issues about malfunctioning Hino buses and specific number plates were shared as per its letter dated November 13, 2018.

The petitioner is seeking to have its members refunded Sh2 million deposit and compensation of Sh5 million.

Declaration sought

“We are seeking a declaration that the respondents have contravened the law,” said Akusala.

Cofek is also seeking a mandatory independent assessment to determine if a modified 28-seater bus can carry the weight of a 33-eater without causing tyre bursts, brake failure or other problems.

It is also seeking a prohibitory order restraining Kenya Bureau of Standards from such risky modifications of the chassis, and enforce the new standards in the line with Toyota Motors Corporation standards.

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