Greenpeace Australia Pacific has filed a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over claims it has made about the performance of its vehicles and its net-zero target.
Greenpeace has alleged that Toyota misleadingly markets itself to drivers by giving a “false impression” that it is leading the charge to eco-friendly cars.
The environmental NGO has provided three examples of Toyota’s wrongdoings.
It said Toyota’s plan to be net-zero by 2050 is “inconsistent” with its current plans for vehicle production. Its vehicles might not meet emissions standards in real-world use as opposed to test conditions — a tale as old as time in the automotive industry.
And that it is “not seeking a rapid transition to eco-friendly cars” and that the Japanese automaker has “a global track record of lobbying to delay, block or weaken vehicle emissions standards.”
“We believe Toyota Motor Corporation’s advertising is misleading Australian consumers by understating its cars’ emissions and overstating its commitment to clean transport,” said Lindsay Soutar, Director of Greenpeace Australia Pacific’s Electrify campaign.
“Toyota Motor Corporation makes claims in its advertising that give the false impression the company is leading the transition to clean cars, but the truth is Toyota is not leading the transition but is acting globally to block the take-up of electric vehicles.
“All companies have a duty to tell the truth about their products. That standard must apply especially to a company like Toyota, which is Australia’s largest and until now most-trusted car maker. There needs to be a level playing field so that consumers can make informed choices about how to use their purchases to protect the environment.”
B&T has asked Toyota Australia for comment.
Consumers are becoming increasingly switched on to claims of greenwashing and advertising and other government regulators are starting to crack down on unsubstantiated environmental claims.
Just yesterday, the ACCC announced that it would be launching investigations into companies following a “concerning” spike in claims.
On Wednesday, ASIC revealed that it would be suing Mercer Superannuation over its environmental claims.
The UK’s advertising watchdog announced that it would be banning a Lufthansa advert following “misleading” environmental claims.
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