Toyota Fortuner DPF issues: 6 service center visits so far

By noon, the Toyota dealer had already dealt with 5 other vehicles with similar diesel particulate filter issues.

BHPian shivs2003 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi All,

I purchased a 2021 Fortuner 4x4 AT in the month of March. For most of the 2nd Lockdown (April 21 to June 21), the vehicle was unused.

In the last 4 months, the vehicle has gone to the service centre 7 times, 6 of which have been for only 1 issue, the DPF. The vehicle has run 11K km as of date.

The Problem:

The DPF fills up in the exponential pattern. Details Below:

On the 29th of Sep (9.30 PM), I took a drive to the airport, the odo was at 11,057 KMs, the DPF was at the lowest levels.

On the 1st of Oct (6.35 AM), I was about to depart on a trip to Uttrakhand, the odo was at 11,158, but the DPF was full. Engine Warning lights all over the dash and the message on the screen was "Check Engine, Visit your Dealer".

In a span of 36 hrs and 101 KM, the DPF was full.

Now, I could not postpone my trip at the last minute, so, we took off for the 250 KM drive.

The car was jerking at every gear change, the engine was at far higher RPMs and the 6th gear was not engaging.

We were able to coordinate with a dealer in Dehradun and visit them to clear the DPF.

As per them, the following information was derived:

  • This is a BIG issue with all Toyota cars that have DPFs.
  • DPF issues damage diesel fuel injectors.
  • On that very day (the 1st of Oct), they had already dealt with 5 vehicles (before 12 noon) regarding DPF cleaning.
  • Toyota HO is dealing with issues, most likely a recall with be conducted.

Back In Delhi NCR:

The ASC folks have no concrete answer as to how to sort out the problem. Brief of the entire matter/situation below with relevant information:

  1. The vehicle is used in Delhi-NCR, 20-30% city roads, rest highways (most major roads between Delhi/Gurgaon/Faridabad are highways.
  2. The vehicle is chauffeur-driven.
  3. The vehicle has both Manual & Auto DPF cleaning. Adblue has been topped up at all times.
  4. The ASC (Faridabad) claims this issue is normal/not the vehicle's fault.

Their recommendations are:

  • Use only BS6 fuel. (This seems absurd, as the vehicle was designed to use both BS4 & BS6 fuel)
  • Drive the vehicle above 100 km/h. (Again, rather absurd, almost all roads inside the city have a speed limit of 50/60 km/h and the highways are 80 km/h). Even if I drove at 100 km/h, the 6th gear would keep the RPMs at a mere 1200.
  • Manually clean the DPF frequently. (This is a tricky issue, the manual cleaning doesn't always work. When the DPF levels are low, it won't engage the cleaning function, by the times the levels are higher, it's too late to do anything, the car enters "creep home" mode.)

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

DPF issues are yet another blow to diesel engines. Diesel has really taken body blows in the last 5 years = VW emissions fraud, Delhi-NCR's 10-year cap, major price hikes because of BS6, turbo-petrol offering comparable torque, manufacturers abandoning them (including Maruti & Volvo), governments frowning on diesel...the list goes on. The reputation of a diesel engine is finished. IMHO, we have reached "peak diesel" and going forward, there is not going to be any R&D or new developments in them (other than additional hardware for evolving emission norms). That's sad because diesel makes a lot of sense for many vehicle categories (UVs, offroaders) and offer unmatched fuel economy for those with heavy usage. I love my big turbo-diesels as much as I love turbo-petrol.

Back to the topic, sad to see Toyota also struggle with DPF issues. But unlike Ford, Toyota will solve it. They don't take shortcuts like Ford. Eager to see how the OP's problem gets resolved.

Here's what BHPian Axe77 had to say on the matter:

This is truly regrettable and inconvenient. So even the poster boy of reliability - Toyota - is not immune from these DPF related issues.

It's becoming difficult to figure what sort of vehicle to buy if you’re in the market anytime in the next couple of years.

  • Diesel: All sorts of DPF related issues.
  • Petrol: Current cars are Ethanol 10 compliant. E20 may well become the norm very soon. Not to mention 2023 will see new emission norms kicking in. If you want turbo petrol for performance, expect to have to live with plummeting FE anytime you floor the throttle, unlike powerful diesels which still gives palatable economy figures regardless of how you drive. All of this in the face of spiralling fuel prices.
  • Hybrids: Insanely taxed, barely any options anyway and the E10 / E20 remains here too I suppose.
  • EVs: Ideally the market is still a few years away from truly maturing and stabilising. Offerings are few and either at the base end of the market (14 - 25 lakh) or in the 1 crore plus super-luxury segment.

Thank god for bicycles I guess!! There’s at least one passion one can still pursue without these hassles.

Here's what BHPian Hayek had to say on the matter:

I am surprised this is happening to a car with reasonable highway usage. I am very clear that buying a BS6 diesel car for my kind of usage (mainly in Bombay - average speed 20-30 km/h when times are good) is insanity. And hence ruled out all diesel options for the future. But I would have hoped that reasonable highway use would solve that problem. Unless your highway use around Delhi is in peak hour bumper to bumper traffic - which is urban use, not highway use.

I also worry whether fuel adulteration has increased - with rising petrol and diesel prices, the incentive to adulterate petrol with naphtha or diesel with kerosene would have increased materially. Could also be a potential cause of this problem.

Anyway, best of luck and do keep us posted.

Here's what BHPian DrANTO had to say on the matter:

I have bought my Innova Crysta 2.4 Automatic in February 2021- My vehicle has already covered 27000km in last 7 months. I haven’t experienced any problem with DPF regeneration so far. My usage is 70% highway and 30% city ( my daily commute is 130 km)

So this problem is either limited to 2.8 Diesel engines as the 2.4L engine in Crysta is doing okay. I know 2 more Crysta owners with their ODO at 16k and 19k - non-issues so far. ( I don’t know whether DPF is the same for both 2.4 and 2.8). After reading your thread, I called my friend who works at Nippon Toyota ( Kerala’s largest dealer) and he said this issue is seen in some cars which stands idle for some weeks or months. Also, he mentioned that vehicles with DPF are very sensitive to fuel quality (At the time of first service, the workshop manager has advised me to fill diesel from Reliance fuel station only as the quality of diesel is better compared to IOC pumps. I don’t know how much of it is true)

Let us see how Toyota addresses the problem.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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