Toyota admits to cheating on vehicle certifications

Toyota Motor Corp. admitted on Monday that it cheated to get vehicle certifications for seven models through bogus safety tests, striking a blow against Japan’s automotive industry.

The admittance adds Toyota to the list of Japanese auto companies hit by misconduct, including Honda, Mazda, Suzuki, and Yamaha. The country’s Transport Ministry said it will perform on-site inspections at Toyota for possible administrative action.

The company said the certifications involved data in pedestrian and occupant protection tests for those three vehicles, adding it found errors in crash tests and other testing methods for the discontinued Crown, Isis, Sienta and RX models.

“We mass-produced and sold cars without following the correct certification process,” Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda said during a press conference.

“The misconducts shook the foundation of the certification system and that was what automakers were not supposed to do no matter what.”

Approximately 1.7 million Toyota vehicles were impacted by the scandal.

Mazda reported 150 000 and 7 000 vehicles, while Honda said 4.35 million were impacted and Suzuki reported 26 000, although the latter two said all of the impacted models had already been discontinued.

“We sincerely apologise for any concern or inconvenience this may cause to our customers and stakeholders who have placed their trust in Toyota,” the Japanese auto giant said in a statement.

“We take it seriously that the problem was discovered at Toyota following the recent discovery of certification issues at Hino Motors, Ltd and Daihatsu Motor Co. and Toyota Industries.” (UPI)

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