Toyota Motor, one of the giants of the global automotive industry, is at the center of a media storm after admitting massive manipulations in the certification tests of seven vehicle models. The company’s president, Akio Toyoda, publicly apologized at a news conference in Tokyo, bowing his head deeply in regret.

Irregularities at Toyota include the use of inadequate or outdated crash test data and incorrect examinations of air bag inflation and rear seat damage during crashes. Additionally, engine power tests were falsified. As a consequence, domestic production of the Corolla Fielder, Corolla Axio and Yaris Cross models has been suspended. Falsified tests were also detected in discontinued models, although the company assures that these problems do not affect vehicles already in circulation, including the popular Corolla subcompacts and luxury Lexus.

The Japanese government launched an investigation into Toyota in January, with the current problems not affecting the company’s overseas production.

On the same day, Mazda Motor Corp., another Japanese manufacturer, revealed similar irregularities in its tests and suspended production of the Roadster and Mazda 2 models. The Hiroshima-based company admitted using incorrect software in control tests. engine failure and crash test failures for three discontinued models. Mazda stated that these failures do not compromise the safety of the vehicles.

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Honda Motor Co. was also forced to apologize for inappropriate tests related to noise and torque levels on models that are no longer in production, such as the Accord, Odyssey and Fit. The Tokyo-based company assured that the safety of the vehicles is not affected.

These recent incidents at Toyota add to the certification problems that arose two years ago at Hino Motors and Daihatsu Motor Co., both Toyota group companies, as well as at Toyota Industries Corp., a machinery and auto parts manufacturer. Shinji Miyamoto, a Toyota executive responsible for customer service, explained that the company began reviewing its own tests after discovering problems at its subsidiaries.

The revelation of these irregularities raises serious questions about quality standards and integrity in the Japanese automotive industry, and its consequences could resonate globally, affecting the reputation of these iconic brands.


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