Honda Motor Co. Headquarters Inspected by Japan’s Transport Ministry; Fourth Among Five Vehicle Makers Searched Over Testing Fraud  

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Honda Motor Co.’s headquarters in Minato Ward, Tokyo

The transport ministry conducted an on-site inspection over falsified applications for model certification at Honda Motor Co.’s headquarters in Minato Ward, Tokyo, on Monday morning.

The certificates are necessary to mass-produce automobiles and motorcycles.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry launched the on-site inspection under the Road Transport Vehicle Law. Honda is the fourth company to be inspected by the ministry following Toyota Motor Corp., Yamaha Motor Co. and Suzuki Motor Corp. Mazda Motor Corp. will be inspected by the ministry as well.

Five ministry officials entered Honda’s headquarters just before 9 a.m. on Monday. They likely inspected relevant documents and conducted interviews with employees in the departments in charge of internal certification testing and quality control to confirm the details of the fraud.

Honda has been found to have had irregularities in 22 models, the most among the involved 38 models from the five vehicle makers. The fraudulent activities came to light in noise and engine output tests for cars including the FIT and N-BOX models that were manufactured from 2007 through 2022. Sales from those models total 3.25 million units.

No irregularities have been confirmed in any of the models currently in production.

The ministry will consider enforcing administrative penalties on the five auto companies by the end of June.