Australia issues recall for fake Toyota brake pads

Toyota HiLux uteThe Australian government has ordered a recall of counterfeit Toyota brake pads that have been sold online to unsuspecting customers.

News of the fakes first emerged late last month in a confidential bulletin issued by Toyota to its dealer network in which it reported that brake pads for the popular HiLux utility vehicle and HiAce vans as well as commuter buses were affected.

Now, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued an unprecedented recall notice for the brake pads - the first prompted by a counterfeiting incident - noting that testing has revealed that they contain hazardous white asbestos.

Exposure to airborne asbestos fibres can cause asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma, notes the ACCC.

According to the recall notice, the pads were sold by eBay trader "prolinedms" - an account run by supplier Westend Spares - across Australia between June 1, 2013 and October 19, 2015.

The company's owner, Andrew Gaal, told News Corp Australia he was shocked to learn the brake pads he bought online from China were fake and dangerous, revealing that his own father had died as a result of asbestosis.

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