A number of car dealers have claimed they are being discriminated against in relation to the criteria for appointment as authorised repairer for Toyota vehicles, the High Court has heard.
Fifteen outlets from around the country, including Cranley Cars, Linders, Murphy & Gunn, Fitzpatrick's and Kearys, said that Toyota Ireland was acting in breach of competition legislation in stipulating certain requirements.
The dealers' case was admitted yesterday to the High Court Competition List by Mr Justice Max Barrett at the request of Paul Sreenan for Toyota.
Counsel said his client contended the dealers wanted special treatment beyond that required for authorised Toyota car dealers.
Counsel said his side had not yet received the dealers’ statement of claim and that Toyota may yet apply for an order requiring the dealers to provide security for legal costs in the event of their losing the action.
Statement of claim
, for the dealers, said his side had told Toyota the statement of claim would be delivered in four weeks but had got a response indicating Toyota may seek security for costs.
His clients were authorised repairers under a selective distribution system operated by Toyota which would be acceptable were it not done in an alleged discriminatory fashion, he said. They had been repairers for Toyota for many years but are now required to meet a range of demands before they may continue to provide the service, including installing showers in workshops, meeting requirements for courtesy cars and wheelchair access.
There were additional issues concerning the credit on offer from Toyota, plus issues concerning provision of spare parts from Toyota itself.
Mr Justice Barrett made directions for the the delivery of papers in the case and adjourned it to next month.