Toyota Apologizes for Flawed Testing, Again

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Toyota Apologizes for Flawed Testing, Again

Toyota's President, Koji Sato, extended his apologies to customers, suppliers, and dealers on Monday for flawed testing at Toyota Industries Corp., a group company. This apology follows a series of similar issues in recent years.

The latest testing concerns involve diesel engines made by Toyota Industries Corp., which require approval from the Japanese government. Toyota revealed that false results were found in certification testing and other sampling inspections for these engines, leading to a claim that the products met standards they did not.

To address the situation, Sato stated that the company would make every effort to resume production as soon as possible. He recognized that management had not fully understood or kept track of the details of what was happening on the ground.

The issue of skirting required tests also surfaced at Daihatsu Motor Corp., a small car manufacturer wholly owned by Toyota. In this case, the cheating spanned decades and came to light thanks to a whistleblower.

In 2022, Hino Motors, a truck manufacturer within the Toyota group, admitted to systematically falsifying emissions data since 2003.

While no major accidents have been linked to any of these cases of cheating, they have raised significant questions about oversight at the involved companies, including Toyota.

Production of several Toyota group models has been halted until proper testing can be conducted. However, the companies emphasized that owners of the affected models can continue to drive their vehicles safely.

Sato acknowledged that better communication among the companies and more comprehensive education on the importance of compliance with regulations were necessary to address the root causes of the repeated scandals.

He also recognized that workers in the intensely competitive auto industry might feel pressured to cut corners. To overcome this, Toyota's management needs to gain a better understanding of what is happening on the ground, especially as the industry's technology evolves rapidly.

The latest problem affects approximately 7,000 vehicles monthly in Japan and 36,000 vehicles globally, excluding North America. The affected models include the Land Cruiser and Hilux sport utility vehicles.