— A Toyota Highlander Hybrid fuel tank capacity lawsuit alleges the SUVs are supposed to hold 17.1 gallons of gas but allegedly the tanks can only hold 12 to 14 gallons of fuel.
The class action lawsuit alleges the Highlander Hybrid fuel tank has an automatic shut-off that activates well before the tank is full.
According to the lawsuit, the 2020-2021 Highlander Hybrids are advertised as being equipped with 17.1 gallon fuel tanks to achieve 36 miles per gallon for city driving, 35 MPG for highway driving and 36 MPG for combined city/highway driving.
This provides a range of about 615 miles on a tank of gas.
However, the three plaintiffs who filed the class action allege the 2020-2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid fuel tank capacity problems increase emissions and cause fuel to overflow when fueling the vehicles. Additionally, the promised driving range allegedly can't be achieved.
The fuel tank capacity lawsuit says hundreds of Highlander Hybrid customers have complained about the alleged headaches of trying to fill the tanks with gas.
The plaintiffs reference a complaint from a 2020 Highlander Hybrid owner who said the fuel tank held only 13.13 gallons of gas before the automatic gas pump shut-off engaged. This was despite his driving the SUV until the dashboard displayed only 5 miles to empty.
After he slowly filled the tank until 14.5 gallons, gas began to splash out, and after coaxing a full 15 gallons into the tank, his Toyota Highlander Hybrid allegedly read that it had a full tank and the Distance to Empty (DTE) was 462. This is far below the expected 615-mile range advertised for the Highlander Hybrid.
The class action lawsuit alleges the fuel systems aren't properly vented which damages the fuel system components due to higher internal pressures. Toyota customers allegedly routinely must cope with the consequences of fuel spilling out of the tanks when refueling the SUVs.
Court documents say that complaining about the Toyota Highlander Hybrid fuel tank capacity allegedly leads the automaker to tell customers multiple factors influence fuel efficiency and the distance a vehicle can travel.
"Toyota eventually acknowledges the issue to consumers, admitting that although the Class Vehicles have 'a fuel tank with a 17.1 gallon capacity,' only 'approximately 14.2 gallons of a it [sic] useable.' Yet Toyota has refused to date to provide any notice to consumers, owners and lessees—including Class Members—about the Defect or when they can expect a repair for the defect." — Toyota Highlander Hybrid fuel tank capacity lawsuit
Toyota has allegedly warned dealerships about the Highlander Hybrid fuel tank capacity issues, yet the automaker continues to sell the SUVs as being capable of 36 miles per gallon for city driving, 35 MPG for highway driving and 36 MPG for combined city/highway driving.
Toyota allegedly must know about the fuel tank capacity problems because customers have complained about the same gas tank issues in multiple lawsuits regarding 2019-2020 Toyota RAV4 Hybrids.
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid fuel tank capacity lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California: Tavares, et al., v. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., et al.
The plaintiffs are represented by Capstone Law APC, and Berger Montague PC.