Toyota & Lexus in trouble for misleading ads


Toyota and Lexus repeatedly advertise their hybrid models as “self-charging”. Norway has now decided that enough is enough and banned misleading car commercials in the Scandinavian nation.

The Norwegian Consumer Protection Agency officially banned these commercials, deeming it misleading to say “the hybrid battery is free of charge since the electricity produced by the car has a consumption of gasoline as a necessary condition”.

Lexus has a history of making misleading claims and “cannibalising” its own field. To promote its simple hybrid technology, Toyota’s premium brand has been seen singing its praise not over purely petrol-powered cars but wanted to set themselves above plug-in hybrid cars and electric vehicles as reported.

Toyota and Lexus are not the only carmakers trying to emphasise the electric part of a hybrid vehicle. In January 2019 the British Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received complaints against a Mitsubishi television advert for misleading consumers by over-playing the electric aspect of its Outlander PHEV SUV. Although the ASA dismissed the claim, in their ruling they also said that they understood why the complaints were made – because of the repeated emphasis in the voice-over on the phrase: “it’s electric” implying that the vehicle was fully electric rather than a hybrid vehicle.

Additional reporting by Nora Manthey, London.


about „Toyota & Lexus in trouble for misleading ads“
Etienne Plas (Lexus Europe PR)
28.01.2020 um 09:20
We indeed regularly use the wording ‘self-charging’ to describe our hybrid system. Our claim is based on the fact that customers never have to charge the battery of their vehicle, as it is recharged during the vehicle use. There is no intention to mislead customers, on the contrary: the point is to clearly explain the difference with plug-in hybrid vehicles.This is widely understood, and it has even been validated by third parties, such as the UK Advertising Standards Authority ( specific issue in Norway is that in one advertising campaign, it was stated that the battery charging was without a cost to the driver. This was a step too far, and the advert has been pulled.
Peter H
12.05.2020 um 19:48
Toyota is also engaged in false advertising with the new Rav4 hybrid models in North America. Toyota claims the fuel thank has a capacity of 14.5 gallons but owners are only able to fill up with 10 gallons and as a consequence have a significantly shorter driving range. The reserve is 1.5 gallon according to the owner's manual so where is Toyota hiding the rest? a collective action class lawsuit has already been filed in California as Toyota has refused to provide a solution for existing owners for more than a year now.
Vincent W . McKeon
13.05.2020 um 01:21
Well Toyota do something u looking real bad

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