Toyota Chairman Apologizes for Massive Certification Test Cheating

Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda issued an apology for widespread cheating on certification tests affecting seven vehicle models. The automaker has suspended production of three models in Japan, although the safety of vehicles already on the road is not compromised. A government investigation into the matter is ongoing.

PTI | Tokyo | Updated: 03-06-2024 15:58 IST | Created: 03-06-2024 15:58 IST
Toyota Chairman Apologizes for Massive Certification Test Cheating
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Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda issued a heartfelt apology on Monday for extensive cheating on certification tests for seven of the company's vehicle models. As a result, production of three of these models has been suspended.

The investigation revealed that Japan's leading automaker engaged in fraudulent practices, including using inadequate data in collision tests and falsifying emissions tests. This misconduct also spanned to incorrect testing of airbag inflation and rear-seat damage during crashes.

Toyota Motor Corp., headquartered in central Japan's Toyota city, halted production of the Corolla Fielder, Corolla Axio, and Yaris Cross models in Japan. While the flaws were detected in models no longer in production as well, the safety of existing vehicles, such as the Corolla subcompact and Lexus luxury models, remains unaffected, according to the company.

In a news conference held in Tokyo, Toyoda expressed deep regret, stating, "We sincerely apologize," and bowed deeply. The admissions came as a Japanese government probe, initiated in January, continues to delve into the automaker's practices.

On the same day, Mazda Motor Corp, another Japanese automotive giant, disclosed similar discrepancies in certification tests for its Roadster and Mazda 2 models and ceased their production. Mazda, headquartered in Hiroshima, admitted to using incorrect engine control software in their tests and reported violations in crash tests on three discontinued models, while asserting that vehicle safety was not affected.

This scandal adds to a series of certification issues that surfaced about two years ago within Toyota group companies, including truck maker Hino Motors, small model specialist Daihatsu Motor Co, and machinery manufacturer Toyota Industries Corp.

Shinji Miyamoto, a Toyota executive in charge of customer satisfaction, revealed that Toyota began scrutinizing its own tests after issues were discovered in group companies.

This unraveling of Toyota's testing systems marks a significant embarrassment for a company celebrated for its production finesse and commitment to empowering workers to create "ever-better cars."

Toyoda suggested that the company might have rushed the certification processes in response to the increasing variety of models, potentially leading to the lapses. Nevertheless, he emphasized that he does not condone the violations. "We are not a perfect company. But if we see anything wrong, we will take a step back and keep trying to correct it," he said.

Toyota, which sells over 10 million vehicles globally, continues to face scrutiny as the investigation unfolds.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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