Thu. Apr 25th, 2024

In response to recent findings of safety test rigging, Japanese authorities have commenced an on-site inspection at the headquarters of Toyota subsidiary Daihatsu.

The transport ministry initiated this investigation after an independent probe uncovered malpractices dating back to 1989, prompting Toyota to issue sincere apologies and commit to a fundamental reform.

The investigative panel, established earlier this year to address a safety scandal that surfaced in April, revealed additional irregularities in 174 items across 25 test categories. These findings come in addition to previously identified wrongdoings in April and May, involving door parts and side-collision tests.

Daihatsu, the focus of the inspection, submitted a report to the transport ministry on Wednesday, confirming new irregularities discovered in an internal probe. The company had already provided a report in May, leading to the announcement of vehicle shipment suspensions.

Nobuhito Kiuchi, a transport ministry official, emphasized the need to verify the accuracy of Daihatsu’s recent report through the on-site inspection. He stated, “Before issuing administrative orders (as punishment), we have to find out facts around the issue,” noting that the inspection will continue until at least early next year.

Footage from Japanese broadcasters depicted over a dozen officials entering Daihatsu’s Ikeda headquarters in Osaka prefecture. Daihatsu, originally founded in 1907 to manufacture internal combustion engines, became a Toyota subsidiary in 1967.

The repercussions of this safety scandal extended beyond Daihatsu, affecting several models under the Toyota brand. In response to these developments, shares of the auto giant plummeted nearly four percent in Tokyo on Thursday. This decline was compounded by the announcement that Toyota, the world’s largest carmaker, was recalling approximately a million vehicles in the United States due to concerns about their airbag systems.

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