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Toyota Admits to Cheating on Certification and Safety Tests for Seven Car Models

Tokyo, June 04, 2024, Toyota Motor Corporation has admitted to cheating on various certification and safety tests for seven models sold in Japan, three of which are still in production. This revelation came during a press conference on Monday where Chairman Akio Toyoda issued a formal apology.

“At a press conference in Tokyo, Toyoda offered a customary low bow and apologized for the lapses. ‘We are not a perfect company. But if we see anything wrong, we will take a step back and keep trying to correct it,’ he stated.

The admission follows an internal Toyota review launched in response to the Japanese government’s announcement of its own investigation earlier this year. The government probe is ongoing and involves multiple car manufacturers.

Toyota clarified that the issue is confined to the Japanese market and does not affect its international sales. Nevertheless, this incident presents a significant challenge for Japanese car manufacturers in their critical home market. Despite being the third-largest car producer globally, Japan’s reputation is now under scrutiny.

Findings of Toyota’s Investigation

Toyota’s investigation found that seven models were implicated:

  • Current Production Models:
    • Corolla Fielder (station wagon version of the Corolla sedan)
    • Hybrid Corolla Axio
    • Yaris Cross (compact SUV)
  • Discontinued Models (2014):
    • Crown
    • Isis
    • Sienta
    • Older version of the Lexus RX

The company revealed that the certification applications for these models contained inadequate data in pedestrian and occupant protection tests. Additionally, crash tests and other test methods for the discontinued models were found to have errors.

However, Toyota assured that despite the procedural lapses, the cars would have passed all required checks. “We can confirm that there are no performance issues that contravene laws and regulations,” Toyota stated. As a result, there is no immediate need for customers to stop using the affected vehicles.

Immediate Actions and Cooperation

In light of these findings, Toyota has temporarily halted shipments and sales of the three currently produced models. The company emphasized its commitment to cooperate fully with Japanese investigators and expedite appropriate measures, including conducting testing in the presence of witnesses.

“We extend our sincere apologies to our customers and stakeholders,” Toyota concluded in its press release.

The Japanese automotive industry, known for its rigorous standards and high-quality output, now faces a stern test of credibility and consumer trust following this scandal. As investigations continue, the focus will remain on how Toyota and other implicated manufacturers address these serious lapses in safety and certification protocols.