Daihatsu Cheated in Vehicle Crash Tests

Tokyo, April 28 (Jiji Press)—Daihatsu Motor Co. said Friday it has uncovered misconduct in its crash tests for four models for overseas markets, suspending shipments in 11 countries outside Japan, including Thailand and Mexico.

The problem affected a total 88,123 units of the Yaris Ativ, Perodua Axia, Agya, and a model under development whose name has not been released.

The Yaris Ativ is a model of Toyota Motor Corp. , the parent of Daihatsu, sold in countries including Thailand and Mexico, with production beginning in Thailand in August 2022.

Daihatsu started producing and selling the Perodua Axia at a joint venture in Malaysia in February this year. The Agya is another Toyota-brand model whose production was slated to start in Indonesia in June.

No fake tests were conducted for models sold in Japan.

Daihatsu has formed an independent third-party committee to investigate the cause of the problem. Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda said the dishonest tests by the group automaker were an “absolutely unacceptable act that betrays the trust of our customers.”

At a press conference in Tokyo, Daihatsu President Soichiro Okudaira apologized and said: “We take our failure to comply with law very seriously. First of all, we’ll investigate the whole situation and the true cause.”

The fake tests came to light through a report submitted to Daihatsu from an internal whistleblower. Test vehicles were tampered with for side impact tests conducted at a technical center in Ryuo, Shiga Prefecture, western Japan.

Okudaira said test vehicles were tampered with to “make sure that the broken part would not get sharp, in order to clear the tests at first attempt.”

He also said that Daihatsu had conducted the tests again and confirmed that legal standards are fulfilled. “We’ll work to resume shipments while receiving instructions from local authorities,” Okudaira said, noting that the tampering only affected test vehicles.

In March 2022, Hino Motors Ltd. , another Toyota unit, was found to have cheated on its emissions and fuel efficiency tests for engines. In response, Daihatsu conducted internal investigations on emissions and fuel efficiency certification, but crash tests were not covered by the investigations.