Japanese transport ministry officials conducted an inspection of Toyota subsidiary Daihatsu on Thursday following the announcement of a suspension in the shipment of all vehicles within and outside Japan. This decision came after an investigation revealed improper testing practices involving 64 models.
Prompted by safety test irregularities earlier this year, an independent panel investigation was conducted, ultimately uncovering widespread and systematic problems at Daihatsu Motor Co., located in Osaka. Unfortunately, this safety scandal is the latest in a string of violations discovered at several major Japanese automakers.
Transport ministry officials initiated a thorough investigation into Daihatsu’s offices in an effort to uncover the extent of this systematic safety scandal, which reportedly continued for several decades.
Expressing his disappointment, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi stated on Thursday, “It’s extremely regrettable. It damaged the trust of car owners and has shaken the foundation of the automobile certification system.” Hayashi urged Daihatsu officials to provide a comprehensive explanation of the situation.
Fortunately, there have been no reported accidents or fatalities as a result of the falsification of these tests.
“We are sorry to have betrayed the trust of our customers,” expressed Daihatsu President Soichiro Okudaira during a news conference on Wednesday. He openly acknowledged the cheating on safety testing and procedures as a form of neglect towards safety certificates.
Toyota’s Response to Cheating Scandal
According to a statement by Daihatsu, a total of 64 models and three vehicle engines were found to be affected by these problems. Among these, 22 models and an engine were sold by Toyota itself. The investigation also uncovered that some models of Mazda and Subaru, sold in Japan, as well as Toyota and Daihatsu models sold abroad, were impacted as well.
Makoto Kaiami, a lawyer and member of the probe team, attended a news conference where he emphasized that the blame should lie with the management. He stated that the employees were under immense pressure to meet tight development deadlines, which ultimately led them to resort to cheating.
Realizing the gravity of the situation, Toyota expressed its sincere apologies. In a statement, Toyota asserted that more than just reviewing certification operations, there is a need for a fundamental reform to revitalize Daihatsu as a company. It further pledged to review Daihatsu’s management and business operations, organization and structure, as well as the mindset of its employees. Toyota assured full support in revitalizing Daihatsu.
Despite the challenges ahead, both Toyota and Daihatsu are dedicated to addressing the issue head-on and working towards a brighter future.