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Toyota extended shutdown time at four plants in Japan

2024-07-18 Update From: AutoBeta NAV: AutoBeta > News >

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The shutdown of a total of six production lines at Toyota's four factories in Japan will be extended to Feb. 5 due to a scandal over testing violations of Toyota automatic looms, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Association) reported. It remains unclear when to restart production. It is understood that the Toyota Group will examine whether it decides to return to work after the 6th in the afternoon of February 5.

Toyota Automated Loom (TICO), a subsidiary of Toyota, announced on January 29th that it had received a report from a special committee of inquiry that it believed that TICO might have violated issues related to emission certification. The commission investigated and found irregularities in horsepower output tests of three automotive diesel engine models commissioned by Toyota to be certified by TICO. It is understood that a total of ten models around the world use affected engines, of which Japan has a total of six, including Lande Cool Luze, Prado, Hilux, HIACE, Fortuner and so on.

Some industrial engines produced by TICO rewrite test results in order to obtain certification, as well as other similar acts such as intentional violation of Japanese laws and regulations and deliberate cover-up. For example, the nitroxide value of the engine model 1DZ exceeds the domestic specified value after deteriorating durability operation, and the data is rewritten to make it appear to meet the specified value; for the engine model 1KD, because the PM value increases during the deteriorated durability operation, TICO then assumes that the emission component of the improved device is installed and uses these figures as the test results.

According to the findings of the Special investigation Committee, TICO believes that problems such as "management's lack of management awareness of the risks associated with compliance with laws and regulations", "lack of sufficient independent thinking" and "lack of compliance awareness" are the main reasons for its violations. To this end, Toyota decided to stop shipments of diesel vehicles. Toyota President Eiji Sato bowed and apologized at a press conference in Tokyo and said he would "reflect deeply."

On January 30, with regard to the violation of engine certification of Toyota automatic looms owned by Toyota Motor Group, Japan's Ministry of Land and Transport carried out an inspection on the Toyota automatic loom Binan factory in Binan City, Aichi Prefecture based on the Road Transport vehicle Law, and all models were suspended until it was confirmed that environmental protection performance and other standards were met. Japan's Ministry of Land and Transport pointed out that at least 8 of the engines produced by Toyota automatic looms have been exposed for fraud in exhaust emission tests. The Ministry of Land and Transport has instructed it to stop shipments, and on the 30th, it inspected the company's factory in Binan City, Aichi County, and will investigate its violation process and vicious degree to punish accordingly.

In recent years, Toyota's companies have been frequently exposed to fraud. On December 20, 2023, Japan's Daihatsu released a 162-page third-party investigation report on its website. According to the investigation, in addition to the fake door accessories in April and the rod side collision test in May, 174 cases of fraud were found in 25 new test items, and 64 models and 3 engines were confirmed to be fraudulent, including those that have been discontinued. It is understood that in addition to the Dafa brand, it also includes models manufactured by Toyota, Mazda and Subaru. According to the results of the investigation, Dafa Motor decided to suspend shipments of all Dafa developed models currently produced in Japan and overseas, and Toyota also decided to suspend shipments of these models. On the same day, since December 25, 2023, Daihatsu's three vehicle factories in Japan have stopped work one after another, and the headquarters factory has stopped work since December 26, and the shutdown is expected to last at least until January 2024. It is not known when to resume production. It is expected that the resumption of production is likely to be extended.

Earlier, Hino Motors, a subsidiary of Toyota, admitted to the outside world that engine data had been falsified for 20 years. Hino's irregularities include violations related to engine emissions, violations related to fuel consumption data, and false reports submitted by Hino when Japan's Ministry of Land, Transport and Transport investigated emissions and fuel consumption data in 2016. Among them, Hino's emission violations began at least in 2003, much earlier than Hino announced in 2016.

In 2023, Toyota released its annual sales results. According to the data, Toyota Group (including subsidiaries Dafa and Hino) sold 11.233 million vehicles worldwide in 2023, an increase of 7.2 per cent year-on-year. It is understood that this is the fourth year that Toyota Group has overtaken Volkswagen Group to become the world's largest carmaker. Volkswagen Group sold 9.24 million vehicles in 2023, an increase of 11.8% over the same period last year.

However, while sales are high, there are also frequent incidents of fraud, and the "craftsman spirit" of Japanese manufacturing is also called "craftsman spirit" by netizens, although every time executives of Japanese companies express their greatest apology with a 90 °bow, but frequent bows seem to have failed to restore the brand image.

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