Toyota has drawn the ire of Japanese officials once again, this time for allegedly using incorrect safety testing standards – which has resulted in shipments of certain vehicles from Japan being suspended indefinitely.

    Automotive News reports Toyota had undertaken safety tests it claims were more stringent than required by the Japanese transport ministry for certification, however it failed to obtain approval to do so.

    Until Japanese regulators can confirm they are compliant Toyota has suspended shipments of the affected models, which includes the Australian-delivered Yaris Cross.

    “In relation to the announcements from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and our parent company, Toyota Australia is seeking detailed information and will provide updates as soon as possible,” a spokesperson told CarExpert.

    “We are advised that none of the vehicles currently for sale or operating on Australian roads has any safety or performance issues. At this stage, customers can continue to drive their Toyota vehicle.”

    Additional Toyota models affected include the current Toyota Corolla Fielder wagon and Corolla Axio sedan (which are popular grey imports among the Australian taxi and rideshare industry), as well as the now-discontinued Toyota Crown, Isis, Sienta and previous-generation Lexus RX.

    The announcement comes amid a torrid two years for Toyota, having faced multiple scandals across its namesake brand and subsidiaries.

    In January, Toyota announced it had discovered “irregularities” during engine certification testing of three turbo-diesel engines produced by its subsidiary Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO).

    While the carmaker was later cleared of misconduct and certifications for the three passenger vehicle engines weren’t revoked, three of its mass-produced industrial engines for forklifts and other heavy equipment had their certification taken away.

    In July 2022, Toyota’s truck division Hino admitted to having falsified emissions data for 860,000 commercial vehicles globally since 2003.

    In December 2023, Toyota’s small car specialist brand Daihatsu suspended manufacturing in Japan following the discovery that it falsified safety data and used unauthorised safety testing procedures, dating back to 1989.

    Automotive News reports other Japanese manufacturers including Mazda, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki were also found to have made misstatements in past test reports.

    The Mazda MX-5 RF and 6 sedan/wagon are its only two cars currently in production which are affected from these other brands.

    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.

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