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Toyota chairman apologises as Japanese carmakers are found to have cheated vehicle tests

  • Toyota boss ‘sincerely’ sorry for vehicle tests cheating
  • Firm found to have falsified results following investigation by Japanese government
  • Honda and Mazda also apologise after inquiry finds they also cheated

Time 11:57 am, June 4, 2024

Japan’s biggest car makers have been forced to apologise after an investigation found ‘massive’ scale cheating on vehicle certification tests.

Toyota, Honda and Mazda have all issued admitted to improper testing, following an investigation by the Japanese government.

In the case of Toyota, the inquiry found that the wide-ranging faulty testing involved the use of inadequate or outdated data in collision tests and incorrect testing of airbag inflation and rear-seat damage in crashes. Engine power tests were also found to have been falsified.

As a result of the findings, Japanese production of the Corolla Fielder, Corolla Axio and Yaris Cross has been suspended, although oversees carmaking is not affected.

As well as the trio of models which have now been halted, the faulty tests were also carried out on variants that have already been discontinued.

Yesterday (June 3), rivals Mazda reported similar irregular certification testing, and halted production of two models, the Roadster and Mazda 2. It said incorrect engine control software was used in the tests.

Honda also admitted to improper testing when it came to noise levels and torque, on several model variants which are no longer in production.

All three manufacturers insisted that the issues will not affect the safety of vehicles already on the road.

The findings come two years after certification problems surfaced at Toyota group companies, truck maker Hino Motors and Daihatsu.

Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo, Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda issued an apology. Bowing deeply, he told the assembled media: ‘We sincerely apologise.’

He later added: ‘We are not a perfect company. But if we see anything wrong, we will take a step back and keep trying to correct it.’

Toyoda said the company may have been too eager to get the tests done and abbreviated them at a time when model varieties were burgeoning.

He also suggested some certification rules might be overly stringent, noting such tests differed around the world.

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