Officials from the Japanese Ministry of Transport inspected Daihatsu’s headquarters this Thursday, as part of an investigation into the car manufacturer’s falsified safety and emissions test results.
The investigation began one day after the subsidiary of Japanese giant Toyota suspended all sales after detecting manipulated information referring to decades of testing, since 1989.
Daihatsu made this decision after receiving the results of an external investigation that identified information manipulated in 25 types of tests to which vehicle models were subjected.
“We have started our on-site inspection to check the veracity of the report elements presented by Daihatsu and the possible presence of other irregularities”, said a Ministry official to the France-Presse news agency.
“Before we make administrative decisions, we must investigate the facts”, added Nobuhito Kiuchi, specifying that this inspection will continue at least until the beginning of 2024.
“It is extremely regrettable,” said the Japanese government spokesperson, who also asked Daihatsu managers to explain the situation in a transparent manner.
“This damaged the confidence of car owners and shook the foundations of the automobile certification system”, lamentou Yoshimasa Hayashi.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the president of Daihatsu regretted “having betrayed the trust” of customers and acknowledged that fraud in tests and procedures jeopardized security certificates.
“We take this very seriously as a problem that has shaken the foundations of an automobile manufacturer,” assured Soichiro Okudaira.
A lawyer and member of the investigation team Makoto Kaiami also said at the press conference that the company’s management should take the blame for putting “extreme pressure” on workers to meet “excessively tight and rigid” deadlines.
The irregularities affect 64 Daihatsu models and three vehicle engines, including 22 models and one engine sold under the Toyota brand, as well as others manufactured for the Mazda and Subaru brands, according to a statement released by Toyota.
In April, Daihatsu acknowledged the existence of irregularities in the safety data sent to regulators regarding crash tests on four models, relating to a total of 88,000 vehicles manufactured in Thailand and Malaysia in 2022 and 2023.
Daihatsu is one of the largest manufacturers of small light vehicles, which are very popular in Japan and Southeast Asian countries.
Also this Thursday, Toyota announced the recall in the United States of almost one million cars from six models of the brand and several models from Lexus, due to a possible defect in a sensor in the airbag system.