Daihatsu Halts Works at 3 Factories over Rigged Safety Tests; Workers Put on Leave

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A Daihatsu plant that stopped production is seen in Ryuo, Shiga Prefecture, on Monday.

Daihatsu Motor Co. stopped production at three of its four plants in Japan on Monday after revelations it had falsified vehicle safety tests.

The remaining factory will stop work Tuesday, bringing domestic production to a complete halt for the automaker, which boasts a 30% share of Japan’s minicar market. A restart date has not been decided, and the shutdown is expected to continue until the end of January.

Daihatsu said Wednesday that 174 irregularities have been identified across 64 models — including those under development or no longer in production — and that it intended to halt production. Twenty-seven models are manufactured at the four plants, and some 930,000 units were turned out in fiscal 2022.

The company’s Kyoto, Shiga and Oita plants were shut down Monday, and the plant at the automaker’s headquarters in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, will follow suit. Some employees will be cleaning the plants, but others will be forced to take time off.

“I don’t know when I can start working again,” said a male employee at the Shiga plant who was put on leave on the day. “I might have to find another job while I can still scrape by.”

Daihatsu’s labor union, some 11,000 members strong, has demanded the company give employees at least 90% of their regular pay.