Scandals at Japanese car manufacturers: Companies admit mistakes

Scandals at Japanese car manufacturers: Companies admit mistakes

After Daihatsu had to stop production in Japan at the end of 2023 due to falsified tests, Mazda, Toyota, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki are now also sliding into a fraud scandal.

The Japanese automobile industry is in a state of disarray: five manufacturers recently had to admit to manipulating important tests. After a comprehensive investigation of all Japanese automobile manufacturers was carried out due to the scandal surrounding decades of cheating in crash tests by Toyota’s small car subsidiary Daihatsu (read more here), further misconduct in the industry is now coming to light.

According to the Japanese Ministry of Transport, some of the safety tests required for the approval of the respective models were not carried out properly by the Mazda, Toyota, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki brands. For some brands, this has already led to a sales stop of affected models. In Japan, for example, the Corolla Fielder, Corolla Axio and Yaris Cross are no longer available.

Japanese authorities describe misconduct as “extremely regrettable”

The Ministry of Transport said it was “extremely regrettable that further misconduct has been uncovered.” The brands have already reacted. Toyota’s Chairman Akio Toyoda apologized and admitted the abuses. The good news: Although the tests were apparently manipulated, the manufacturers confirm that the vehicles are safe and can continue to be used.

The German press agency reports that Mazda and Yamaha have also been asked to stop delivering two affected car models to the Japanese market, and a class of motorcycle is also affected. Honda and Suzuki are no longer producing the models in which irregularities were found during testing. No recall has been announced for any vehicle so far.

A difficult time is now beginning for the manufacturers – for example, Toyota’s headquarters were recently searched. It can be assumed that the authorities will now leave no stone unturned.

Europe not yet affected

Upon request of the star Mazda Germany said that “this action is related to the special type approval tests in Japan.” A spokesperson confirmed: “All Mazda vehicles in Europe have passed the required tests and no Mazda vehicle on the road or in Mazda showrooms in Europe is affected by this investigation.” The company asserts that it has carried out further tests which “confirm that the models concerned meet the legal requirements for occupant protection in a frontal impact.”

Honda explained to the star when asked: “No cases of irregularities were detected in the certification tests for four-wheeled vehicles currently sold or to be sold in the future. Cars sold in Europe are not affected.”

The manipulated safety tests are just one problem. Since the investigations also revealed – Toyota quotes – “open questions about emissions tests”, the obviously urgently needed reform of the Japanese automotive industry will probably take a while. The world’s largest car manufacturer is not alone in this.

Source: Stern

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