Toyota investigated in Japan over safety certification irregularities | CAR Magazine

Toyota investigated in Japan over safety certification irregularities

Published: 06 June 2024

► Toyota halts production of three models in Japan
► Chairman Akio Toyoda apologises for irregularities
► UK and European models not affected

Toyota has admitted to providing incorrect or manipulated safety certification data in its home country of Japan.

The news originally came to light on 26 January 2024, when Toyota received instructions from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) to conduct investigations into its model certification application.

On 3 June 2024, Toyota Motor Corporation reported six instances involving seven models produced since 2014, including some discontinued ones, where testing methods deviated from national standards.

On 4 June 2024, Japan’s transport ministry raided Toyota’s headquarters, which had already resulted in the suspension of three of the firm’s car models from production.

The company has subsequently halted the production of three car models only available in Japan: the Corolla Fielder, Corolla Axio, and the Yaris Cross manufactured in Kanegasaki.

Toyota has also faced further allegations of using modified vehicles in safety collision tests for models that are no longer being manufactured.

Toyota chairman, Akio Toyoda, apologised to customers a day before the raid took place. ‘We neglected the certification process and mass-produced our cars without first taking the proper precautionary steps,’ Mr Toyoda said. ‘As the person responsible for the Toyota Group, I would like to extend my sincere apologies to our customers, car enthusiasts, and all stakeholders for this issue, following Hino, Daihatsu, and Toyota Industries Corporation. I am truly sorry.’

Toyota sold over 11 million passenger vehicles in 2023, however, the recent findings are said to not affect cars currently on the roads.

Toyota spokesperson told CAR in a statement: ‘This relates to a certification issue that is only applicable to vehicles sold in Japan. As such, any vehicle bought in the UK or Europe is not affected.’

Meanwhile, other Japanese car makers have responded, with Honda confirming past instances of improper testing regarding noise and engine power. However, Honda assures CAR that its vehicles are safe to drive and cars sold in Europe are also not affected.