The serious news over Toyota’s brand Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. found to have committed wrongdoing in the side impact test of its vehicles for overseas markets caught the automotive industry by shock.
Daihatsu had rigged part of the door in side-collision safety tests carried out for some 88,000 small cars, most of which were sold under the Toyota brand, the companies said on Friday.
They said the door trim on the affected vehicles had been modified with a “notch” to minimise the risk in testing that the door interior could break with a sharp edge and cause injury to an occupant when the side airbag deployed in an accident.
The affected models include Toyota Yaris Ativs made in Thailand from last August, and Perodua Axias manufactured in Malaysia starting from February.
Of the 88,000-plus vehicles, some 76,000 were Yaris models mainly bound for Thailand, Mexico, and Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Daihatsu said.
In response, the biggest automotive company in the world apologised for the inconvenience and concern that this may cause to its customers, dealers, and other concerned parties who are currently using these vehicles.
The statement from Akio Toyoda, Toyota Chairman of the Board said “Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.’s wrongdoing is a matter that concerns safety, which is the most important aspect of vehicles. We consider this an absolutely unacceptable act that betrays the trust of our customers. We would like to sincerely apologize to our customers around the world and all related parties for the inconvenience and concern this has caused.”
Akio added that the company believes the problem is not just confined to the Daihatsu brand and will begin by conducting a detailed investigation and thoroughly collecting facts to understand the situation, determine the true cause, and work diligently to prevent a recurrence.
He promised that Toyota would not run away, lie, or distort the truth during the recall crisis in 2009.
The group will assign its top executive President Sato responsible for improving the car manufacturing operations of Toyota while the Chairman will lead initiatives for governance and compliance.