Two top executives from automotive giant Toyota’s small-car division Daihatsu are exiting, following an investigation which found the niche Japanese brand falsified safety results for more than 30 years.

    In December 2023, Daihatsu shut down its Japanese production facilities after it was discovered the side-impact safety results of more than 64 of the brand’s models had been falsified since 1989.

    At the time, Daihatsu president Soichiro Okudaira acknowledged his company’s failures, while pinning blame on increasing pressure to meet ambitious demands and tight deadlines.

    The Toyota Motor Corporation this week announced Okudaira-san will be replaced on March 1, 2024 by Masahiro Inoue, who has most recently served as Toyota’s CEO for Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Daihatsu chairman Sunao Matsubayashi also plans to step down, with Toyota announcing he won’t be replaced.

    “For Daihatsu to be reborn as the company it was meant to be, this is what we believe is necessary,” said Toyota CEO Koji Sato, as reported by The Japan Times.

    The impending departure of Daihatsu’s top executives comes as scandals have impacted the wider Toyota group, including the Lexus and Hino brands.

    In July 2022, Hino admitted to have falsified emissions data for 860,000 commercial vehicles globally since 2003.

    Last month, TMC announced it had discovered “irregularities” during engine testing of three turbo-diesel powertrains produced by Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO).

    The three engines were found to have been fitted with engine control units (ECUs) during certification testing which differed from those in mass production, with TMC effectively admitting to cheating official tests.

    Production of Australian-bound models such as the Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series, LandCruiser 70 Series, HiAce and Lexus LX has temporarily been suspended as a result of the investigation.

    Despite these scandals, Toyota was the best-selling automotive brand globally last year, with more than 11.2 million vehicles sold worldwide in 2023 across its four brands – a new industry record.

    MORE: Everything Daihatsu

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers