TOKYO: Toyota Motor’s Daihatsu unit will halt shipments of all of its vehicles, Japan’s biggest automaker says.
This comes after an investigation into a safety scandal found issues at 64 models, including almost two dozen sold under Toyota’s brand.
An independent panel has been investigating Daihatsu after it said in April it had rigged side-collision safety tests carried out for 88,000 small cars, most of those sold as Toyotas.
But the latest revelations suggest the scope of the scandal is far greater than previously thought and could potentially tarnish the automakers’ reputation for quality and safety.
Daihatsu is Toyota’s small-car unit and produces a number of the so-called “kei” smaller cars and trucks that are popular in Japan.
The latest issues within the Toyota unit also impacted some Mazda and Subaru models sold in the domestic market and Toyota and Daihatsu models overseas, the panel found.
According to Toyota, “fundamental reform” was needed to revitalise Daihatsu, as well as a review of certification operations.
“This will be an extremely significant task that cannot be accomplished overnight,” the company said in a statement.
“It will require not only a review of management and business operations but also a review of the organisation and structure.”
Toyota shares were flat yesterday afternoon, lagging a 1.6% rise in the broader market.
Daihatsu was found to have cheated on safety tests of almost all models it currently has in production as well as some cars it made in the past, the Asahi newspaper previously reported.
The issue emerged after Daihatsu said in April it had discovered the wrongly conducted tests after a whistleblower report.
It had reported the issue to regulatory agencies and halted shipment of affected models.
The following month, it said it had stopped sales of the Toyota Raize hybrid electric vehicle and its own Rocky model after also finding problems with testing for those models.
Daihatsu produced 1.1 million vehicles over the first 10 months of the year, nearly 40% of those at overseas sites, according to Toyota data.
It sold some 660,000 vehicles worldwide over that period and accounted for 7% of Toyota’s sales.
Toyota said yesterday that the affected models included those for the South-East Asian markets of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam as well as central and South American countries of Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Uruguay.
Daihatsu is the latest safety issue to impact the Toyota group over the years.
An engine data scandal at Toyota’s truck and bus-making unit, Hino Motors, in 2022 led to resignations and temporary pay cuts for some managers.
In that case, Hino admitted to falsifying data on some engines dating back to 2003, or at least a decade earlier than it originally indicated.
In 2010 Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda, then chief executive, was forced to testify before the United States Congress due to a safety crisis involving faulty accelerators. — Reuters
Source: The Star