Daihatsu Leadership Shakeup: New President Appointed Amid Testing Irregularities

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Daihatsu Leadership Shakeup: New President Appointed Amid Testing Irregularities

Following a series of testing irregularities, the President of Daihatsu Motor Co., Soichiro Okudaira, is stepping down. Effective March 1st, Masahiro Inoue, Toyota's Chief Executive Officer for Latin America and the Caribbean, will take over as Daihatsu's President.

This leadership change aims to prevent future misconduct and restore Daihatsu's reputation. Toyota President Koji Sato stated at a news conference that the company plans to review Daihatsu's business focus, emphasizing its production of minivehicles with engine displacements of 660 cc or less.

In an investigation report released in December, a third-party panel found that Okudaira and other senior executives failed to anticipate and prevent misconduct. The report highlighted excessive pressure on employees responsible for testing, ultimately resulting in fraudulent practices. Senior executives were held responsible for these failures, rather than the lower-level employees who engaged in the misconduct.

Daihatsu has implemented measures to prevent recurrence, including extending development schedules and increasing staffing for certification testing. However, production has only resumed at two plants, with a gradual restart expected at the remaining facilities in the coming weeks.