Toyota's president apologizes for misusing emissions tests

Toyota's president apologizes for misusing emissions tests

Akira Onishi, right, President of Toyota Industries Corp., and another executive apologized at a March 17 news conference in Nagoya. Toyota Industries Corp., the leading forklift manufacturer, has been found to have fabricated parts testing, forcing some forklift shipments to be stopped.

The Toyota Motor Corp. group has been involved in a data reporting scandal since 2022, and is now the second member of the Toyota Motor Corp. group.

Officials from Toyota Industries admitted on March 17 that results of emissions tests on gasoline and diesel engines had been falsified.

Domestic shipments of three models of forklifts that use the engines in question have been stopped by the company.

At a March 17 news conference, company President Akira Onishi apologized and said the cause of falsification was insufficient knowledge and experience about legal regulations. He said he would refrain from speculating about the motive until an internal special investigation was completed.

Onishi and Tetsuro Toyoda, chairman of the company, will take responsibility and return six months of remuneration.

An estimated value was used as the result in some cases, rather than the actual measurement of emissions elements during testing. In other parts of the engine, engine parts were changed in the course of the test.

The two diesel engines tested had one element that exceeded legal standards due to the degradation of the engine.

In fiscal 2021, Toyota Industries sold a combined 16,500 forklifts of the three models, accounting for 95 percent of all the engine vehicles sold by the company.

Half of the company's total sales was accounted for by domestic sales of those forklifts.

The company sells about 280,000 forklifts annually on a global basis. The company was founded in 1926 to manufacture and sell automatic looms invented by Sakichi Toyoda. The automaker broke off and became independent.

In late 2020, U.S. officials inquired about test data, leading Toyota Industries officials to start an investigation. The latest fabrication was found after company officials expanded their investigation to domestic forklifts.

Hino Motors Ltd., another Toyota group company, was found in 2022 to have falsified emissions test results, a practice that dated back nearly 20 years.

Toyota released a statement on March 17 apologizing for the latest incident and pledged to give support to the efforts made by Toyota Industries.