Toyota, Honda, Mazda and Suzuki fall foul of officials over falsifying data

Toyota has suspended domestic deliveries of three car models after admitting to falsifying test data.

The automaker has apologized for violating the government’s certification rules.

Japanese rivals Honda, Mazda, Suzuki and Yamaha were also involved in the scandal.

Mazda admitted to “improperly handling test vehicles in crash tests” and rewriting engine control software.

The brand said there were “no safety issues” with the cars involved, but it suspended sales of the Mazda2 and MX-5 Roadster in Japan. Mazda Australia said: “The type designation irregularities do not apply to Australian Mazda vehicles.”

In a statement, Toyota said some models in its range were “tested using methods that differ from government standards”.

It admitted it had provided inadequate data and errors in crash tests, but said there were “no performance issues that would be in breach of laws and regulations”.

“We sincerely apologize for any concern or inconvenience this may cause our customers and stakeholders who have placed their trust in Toyota,” the statement said.

Toyota Australia issued a statement saying it was seeking detailed information on the issue and would provide updates as soon as possible.

“We are informed that none of the vehicles currently for sale or operating on Australian roads have any safety or performance issues. At this stage, customers can continue to drive their Toyota vehicle,” the statement said.

The Ministry of Transport has ordered Toyota and other brands to stop supplying certain models in Japan after reports of failure to follow standardized steps to certify vehicles for shipment.

An on-site inspection will also be conducted, they said.

Mazda also apologized after an investigation confirmed irregularities in five tests involving more than 150,000 cars.

“We would like to sincerely apologize for the inconvenience and concern this may cause our customers, business partners, dealers and all other Mazda-related stakeholders,” the statement said.

Both Mazda and Toyota have suspended sales of models affected by the irregularities.

AFP reports that the latest problems came to light after the ministry ordered 85 carmakers and parts suppliers to report irregularities in certification applications – a decree prompted by a scandal over safety tests at Toyota’s Daihatsu subsidiary.

In December, Daihatsu admitted to manipulating tests since at least 1989 and halted all factory operations, dealing a blow to the Japanese economy. Its shipments resumed in April after the government lifted the total ban.

“It is very regrettable that additional illegal acts have been revealed,” which “undermine user confidence and shake the very foundations of the vehicle certification system,” the ministry said in a statement.

At a news conference in Tokyo, reported by the Japan Times, Toyota chairman Akio Toyoda apologized for the company’s actions, which he said shook “the foundations of the certification system itself.”

Toyota has announced it will halt deliveries of the Corolla Fielder, Corolla Axio and Yaris Cross after reporting inadequate data in pedestrian and passenger protection tests.

The world’s best-selling carmaker said ongoing internal reviews had also found that four other models that are no longer in production had been “tested using methods that differ from government standards”.

Toyota apologized to its customers but assured them that the vehicles were safe to drive.

Honda said it found faults in tests related to noise and engine power, but also stressed that its vehicles were safe and passed the company’s standards.

In recent months, Toyota’s truck and bus brand Hina has been hit by a scandal over rigged tests of its engines in Japan.

Meanwhile, its Toyota Industries subsidiary failed to conduct adequate production testing to certify three diesel engine models.

Toyoda said in January that “it will take time to regain the trust of our customers” and promised to lead a “transformation”.

With AFP

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