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Japan. Safety testing scandal, Toyota and Mazda suspend deliveries

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The scandal involving Japanese car companies is growing. A number of irregularities were detected in safety tests conducted by the largest companies: Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha. Three of these companies announced the suspension of deliveries of parts of their vehicles.

The scandal regarding Japanese automotive companies has been growing since the end of last year, when irregularities in safety tests conducted by the Daihatsu brand, owned by Toyota, came to light. Therefore, in January, the Japanese ministry responsible for transport ordered to check the correctness of conducting and reporting this type of tests by all domestic vehicle manufacturers.

Automotive scandal in Japan

On Monday, it was reported that similar irregularities were also detected in some vehicle models manufactured by Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha. It was found that when applying for certification for their vehicles, manufacturers reported incorrect or falsified data from safety tests.

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Therefore, the ministry ordered Toyota, Mazda and Yamaha to suspend deliveries of some of their vehicles. The ministry also carried out an inspection at the headquarters of Toyota Motor Corp. on Tuesday. in Aichi Prefecture A spokesman for the Japanese government described the entire situation as “deplorable.”

Automotive scandal in JapanNoriko Hayashi/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Toyota apologizes

Toyota reported that the irregularities occurred in a total of six different tests conducted between 2014 and 2020. They concerned three models still in production – Corolla Fielder, Corolla Axio and Yaris Cross – and four models already discontinued, including one sold under the Lexus brand.

The irregularities detected were of various types. In the case of three models whose deliveries were suspended, data on the results of tests for head injuries suffered by pedestrians as a result of collisions were fabricated. Another of the mentioned violations was the performance of crash tests on the car hood only on one side, while such tests are required on both sides. In another case, the company reported, some tests were carried out in conditions that were more restrictive than those established by the ministry, but this was considered a failure to meet government requirements.

Toyota also emphasized that the detected irregularities did not affect the use of its vehicles and customers could use their cars without any problems.

– As the person responsible for the Toyota Group, I would like to express my sincere apologies to our customers, supporters and all shareholders – said Akio Toyoda, grandson of Toyota's founder and former executive director, at a press conference. He admitted that the cars did not properly undergo the certification process before going on sale, and the company reacted by temporarily suspending deliveries and sales of three of its cars produced in Japan models.

Vehicle deliveries suspended

Other Japanese automotive companies affected by it also commented on the detected scandal. Mazda announced in a statement that it had suspended deliveries of two of its car models – the sports Roadster RF and the Mazda2 hatchback. In both cases, employees were found to be altering engine software test results. Irregularities were also detected in crash tests of Atenza and Axel models no longer in production, during which the opening of the airbags was supposed to be initiated temporarily, and not by their on-board sensors.

Yamaha has announced the suspension of deliveries of its sports motorcycles. Honda, in turn, announced that in its case the irregularities detected included noise and performance tests conducted between 2009 and 2017. The tests concerned about twenty different models that are no longer produced.

Main photo source: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg/Getty Images



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