Toyota President Apologizes to Shareholders for Fraudulent Vehicle Testing

The Yomiuri Shimbun
People enter the venue of the annual shareholders meeting for Toyota Motor Corp. in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, on Tuesday.

TOYOTA, Aichi — Toyota Motor Corp. President Koji Sato apologized to shareholders for fraudulent certification tests for vehicles at the annual shareholders meeting held at the company’s headquarters in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, on Tuesday.

“We sincerely apologize for the great inconvenience caused to our customers and shareholders,” Sato, who chaired the meeting, said at the beginning of the meeting.

The irregularities in the certification tests by Toyota Motor came to light on June 3, and the carmaker has suspended production of three models produced by its group companies.

Before the revelations, irregularities in certification testing were found at Daihatsu Motor Co. and Toyota Industries Corp, both of which are members of the Toyota Group.

“We sold [the models] without following the correct procedures to obtain certification,” Sato said. “Chairman Akio Sato is working on making improvements at the workplaces. I’ll work with him to prevent recurrence.”

Proposals to appoint 10 members to the board of directors, including Toyoda and Sato, were approved at the shareholders’ meeting.

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., a U.S. voting advisory firm, recommended against the proposal to appoint Toyoda as a director, saying that he is the one ultimately responsible for the certification irregularities.

Some institutional investors, including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest public pension fund in the United States, have stated that it voted against the proposal.