Falsification of safety tests: A Toyota subsidiary stops deliveries

Japanese automaker Daihatsu, a subsidiary of Toyota, announced on Wednesday the temporary delivery of all its vehicle models after an independent investigation found numerous facts about “faking” of its safety tests.

Daihatsu admitted last April and May to falsifying crash test results for six of its models, and an independent commission was set up to investigate to “fully clarify the nature of the irregularities and in-depth determine their cause.”

According to the report released Wednesday and submitted to Japan’s transportation ministry, the investigation found 174 irregularities in 25 test categories, in addition to those found last spring.

These irregularities affect a total of 64 vehicle models, including models manufactured under contract by Toyota, Mazda and Subaru.

“We sincerely apologize to our customers for betraying their trust,” Daihatsu said.

As a result, the manufacturer has decided to “temporarily suspend deliveries of all models developed by Daihatsu and currently produced in Japan and abroad.”

According to public broadcaster NHK, Japan’s Ministry of Transport will conduct an inspection at Daihatsu’s premises on Thursday to try to confirm the facts recorded in the report.

The group of experts who wrote the report attributed Daihatsu’s failures to factors such as “extreme pressure due to an overly narrow and rigid development plan” and a lack of management expertise.

“Extreme Gravity”

Toyota also expressed its “sincere apology for the inconvenience and concern this situation has caused” in a separate statement and also announced it would suspend deliveries of affected models.

The purpose of the checks is to verify “that vehicles meet different standards so that customers can drive their vehicle with complete peace of mind” and are “an essential prerequisite for operating as an automobile manufacturer,” Toyota said.

The extreme severity of Daihatsu’s “negligence in the certification process has shaken the company’s foundations as an automobile manufacturer,” he added.

Daihatsu’s president and Toyota representatives will hold a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

Daihatsu admitted last April to falsifying crash test results on four of its models, affecting a total of 88,000 vehicles manufactured in Thailand and Malaysia in 2022 and 2023.

Then in May, the company announced it would halt production of two models of hybrid vehicles in Japan due to similar “irregularities,” including that of the Toyota Raize SUV, which was manufactured under contract for the parent company.

Daihatsu produced more than 1.7 million vehicles worldwide in the 2022/23 financial year that ended at the end of March last year, around half of them in Japan.

The specialist for mini vehicles called “Kei Cars”, which are very popular in Japan and have a market share of around 30%, generates the majority of its sales in the archipelago and Southeast Asia.

Founded in 1907 to produce internal combustion engines, the company based in Osaka (western Japan) brought its first three-wheeled vehicle onto the market in 1931. In 1967 it came under the control of Toyota.