While most Australians will be familiar with the dangers of discovering asbestos in old homes or other buildings, a recent warning brought the issue into a whole new industry.
An investigation from News Corp revealed that a range of counterfeit brake pads had been discovered on various Toyota vehicles. As it's quite a unique case, it could put a lot mechanics in danger, and may even lead to a new spate of asbestos claims.
As mechanics and other automotive professionals may not be aware of the danger, they're unlikely to be prepared with the necessary protective equipment when they encounter these defective parts. All it takes is one inhalation of asbestos fibres to lead to illnesses such as mesothelioma, a dangerous disease that is likely to require the assistance of compensation lawyers.
Asbestos discovered in brake pads
According to an exclusive report from News Corp, there are a large number of these brake pads installed on vehicles throughout Australia. While the organisation is able to provide some guidance to let mechanics know what to expect, it's still a difficult event to keep track of.
News Corp reported that the offending parts have been sold to industry buyers under the pretence of being genuine Toyota parts. This extends the risk of exposure, as storepersons or delivery drivers may also have unwittingly come into contact with the materials.
The brake pads in question are designed to fit two extremely common vehicles in the Japanese marque's vehicle lineup, further adding to the associated risks. The parts are suitable for every Toyota Hilux manufactured and distributed within the past ten years, a number that reaches 400,000 in Australia alone.
On top this, the popular Hiace van is also at risk, as these brake pads can be installed on any of the 100,000 active around Australia.
Who is at risk of mesothelioma?
While the obvious answer to this question is the mechanics who unpack and install these parts, Motor Traders Association CEO Greg Patton revealed that anyone in the general area when the vehicle is driven could inhale the deadly fibres.
"Every time the brakes are applied, asbestos dust goes into the atmosphere," he explained.
"It's that indiscriminate, it's truly deadly stuff. The disregard these people have for public health is shocking."
Gerard Malouf and Partners works on a "no win no fee" basis which protects you in the event that the claim is unsuccessful. Contact us today to find out how we can help.