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Japan's five largest automakers collectively committed fraud! Executives bowed and apologized, but it did not involve Chinese models on sale


Japanese automakers are constantly involved in fraud scandals.

According to the news from AECOAUTO on June 4, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan reported on June 3 that Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Yamaha, and Suzuki had committed fraud in applying for vehicle production certification.

Among them, Toyota submitted false data in pedestrian safety tests of three new models, Corolla Fielder, Corolla Axio, and Yaris Cross, and used modified test vehicles in collision safety tests of four old models, Crown, Isis, Sienta, and RX.

Mazda manipulated the set countdown to make the airbag pop out instead of the sensor in the 50km/h frontal collision test, involving models including Angkesaila, Atez, and MAZDA6. In addition, Mazda also committed fraud in engine testing, involving models including MX5.

In addition, Yamaha falsified test reports of two models; Honda Motor falsified noise test reports, involving 22 models; Suzuki Motor falsified the brake device test result report of one car, but the falsification of Honda and Suzuki only involved discontinued models.

At the press conference that day, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi expressed regret for the incident, saying that such behavior "damaged the reputation of the Japanese automobile industry." The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan stated in a notice that it would conduct further investigations on the five companies by the Road Transport Vehicle Law and would deal with them based on the results of the investigation.


Five Japanese automakers reported violations

Toyota, Honda, Mazda executives apologized

In December last year, an internal investigation by Daihatsu Industries, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor, showed that most of the company's vehicles were not compliant with crash safety tests. Toyota Industries also suspended the delivery of all engines in January this year because a previous investigation showed that the company had falsified power output data.

Given the fraud scandals of Toyota's subsidiaries, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan instructed 85 automobile manufacturers to investigate and report whether there were any violations.

As of the end of May, 68 companies have completed the investigation, and 17 companies are still under investigation. Among the 68 companies that have completed the investigation, 4 companies have improper behavior when applying for vehicle certification, namely Mazda, Yamaha Motor, Honda Motor, and Suzuki Motor. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan has currently ordered Toyota Motor, Mazda, and Yamaha Motor to suspend the delivery of some cars and motorcycles, and asked them to make detailed explanations to consumers on this matter.

On June 3, executives of Toyota, Honda, and Mazda all held press conferences to apologize for the fraud.

At a press conference held by Toyota Motor in Tokyo in the afternoon, Toyota Motor Corporation President (Chairman) Akio Toyoda bowed and apologized for Toyota Motor Corporation's exposure of "test violations and submission of false data", and said that the shipment and sales of three models currently produced in Japan will be suspended from now on. However, Toyota said at the press conference that Toyota's related vehicles do not have performance problems that violate laws and regulations, so there is no need to stop using the affected vehicles. Honda first apologized to customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders at the press conference, and said that Honda had conducted internal technical verification and actual vehicle testing to confirm that the vehicles meet the prescribed legal standards, and stated that the performance of the finished vehicles will not be affected by relevant regulations, and owners of these models can continue to use the vehicles without taking any measures.

Mazda also announced the results of the investigation and apologized at the press conference. The results showed that there were violations in five tests in two test categories. The violations found this time involved about 150,000 vehicles, including the Angkesaila, Atenza, MAZDA 6, and MX5.

Mazda executives such as Mao Cong Shenghong (first from the right) apologized

Just today, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan conducted a surprise inspection of Toyota Motor Headquarters in response to serious misconduct such as data falsification involving safety. The inspectors will question the person in charge of quality and analyze relevant documents to find out the ins and outs of the incident.

In addition, regarding the data falsification, Toyota China stated on the evening of June 3rd, saying, "It has been confirmed that the models sold by FAW Toyota, GAC Toyota, and Lexus in the Chinese market have nothing to do with this incident. The relevant certification experiments were completed in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations and under the supervision and guidance of Chinese management departments. There are no safety and quality issues."


Data fraud was exposed three times in one year

68-year-old Akio Toyoda bowed and apologized again

Recently, Akio Toyoda, Chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation of Japan, apologized for Toyota Motor Corporation's "test violations and submission of false data".

Netizens commented: "Although the product is not standard, the bowing and apology posture is standard!" Although this is not pleasant to hear, it highlights the current problems of Toyota Motors.

▲ Toyota Group President Akio Toyoda apologized at the press conference

According to information available on the Internet, Toyota Motors has been exposed for data fraud three times in the past year, namely, data fraud in side collision tests, data fraud in exhaust emissions, and data fraud in pedestrian safety tests/collision safety tests.

In April last year, Daihatsu was exposed for fraud in side collision safety tests on 88,000 vehicles, involving 64 models, of which 22 models were sold under the Toyota brand. After investigation by relevant agencies, some models sold in Japan by Mazda and Subaru were also involved, and even models sold abroad by Toyota and Daihatsu.

In December of the same year, Daihatsu Industries President Soichiro Okudaira held a press conference, admitting that there were violations in the safety tests of new cars, and announced that all models sold at home and abroad would be suspended from shipment, and Toyota also stopped the shipment of some models.

At the end of January this year, three diesel engines used in 10 Toyota models were exposed for "exhaust emission test data fraud", and Toyota decided to stop the shipment of related diesel vehicles on the same day. Toyota Motor Corporation President Sato Tsuneharu bowed and apologized at a press conference in Tokyo, saying that he would "deeply reflect". Akio Toyoda also attended the scene and bowed to apologize.


Conclusion: The reputation of Japanese companies for fraud is damaged

This fraud incident has once again focused attention on the Japanese auto industry. In the first quarter of 2024, the sales of two Japanese automakers, Toyota and Honda, in China declined. Among them, Toyota's cumulative sales in China were 374,000 vehicles, a year-on-year decline of 1.6%; Honda's cumulative sales in China were 207,000 vehicles, a year-on-year decline of 6.1%.

It is undeniable that the fraudulent behavior of Japanese automakers in product certification is bound to hurt the reputation of the counterfeiting companies. When manufacturing products, companies need to uphold a responsible attitude towards products and users and strictly abide by regulatory standards. In the extremely involuted automobile industry, it is necessary to control product quality to go long-term.


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