Japanese government officials have reportedly raided a Toyota factory just hours after the car giant admitted to producing “irregular” results while testing certain diesel engines.
Yesterday, Toyota announced an internal investigation had discovered irregularities during horsepower output testing of three turbo-diesel engines – though the company claimed the discrepancies were only found when using engine control units (ECUs) not found in its mass-produced vehicles.
As a result, the Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) has suspended shipments of the affected engines and vehicles equipped with them – which includes models sold in Australia such as the HiLux, LandCruiser 70 Series, LandCruiser 300 Series, Prado, Fortuner, HiAce, Granvia and Lexus LX500d.
According to the Associated Press, Japanese officials raided Toyota’s Kinuura factory in the Aichi Prefecture late yesterday afternoon, though it is not yet known what they discovered at the facility.
Toyota claims the Kinuura factory produces more than 820,000 transmissions annually, with approximately 3000 employees on the books.
The publication reports Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) chairman and former CEO Akio Toyoda addressed the media in a press conference following the engine testing announcement, apologising to customers, suppliers and dealers.
“My job is to steer the way for where the overall group should go,” Toyoda-san said according to the Associated Press.
Current Toyota CEO Koji Sato also apologised for the testing scandal, vowing to resume production at a handful of factories which have since paused operations.
“We will do our utmost to resume production as soon as possible,” Sato-san said, as reported by the Associated Press.
“Management was not able to fully comprehend and keep track of the details of what was happening on the ground.
“We recognise that not only people at the testing site but also management did not have proper understanding of certification.”
The latest scandal is the third in less than two years for the Toyota Motor Corporation, though the first to involve its main brand.
Last month, Toyota’s small-car subsidiary Daihatsu suspended manufacturing in Japan following the discovery that it falsified safety data and unauthorised safety testing procedures, dating back to 1989.
In July 2022, the company’s truck division, Hino, admitted to have falsified emissions data for 860,000 commercial vehicles globally since 2003.
Earlier today, the Toyota Motor Corporation released its 2023 sales figures, with the 11.2 million vehicles sold across its four brands – Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino – breaking the automotive industry record.
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