Put an end to the safety scandal of certified testing and Toyota carries out organizational reform.

On April 8, Toyota Motors in Japan issued a notice stating that in order to put an end to the safety scandal of certified testing, Toyota Motors will be responsible for the entire process from the development to the certification of small cars, and the subsequent actual development work will be entrusted to Daihatsu Motors. This change will be carried out sequentially from future models.

In addition, Toyota Motors stated in the announcement that Toyota Motors will thoroughly reform the business structure of Daihatsu Motors, and Daihatsu Motors will be positioned as “a mobility enterprise centered on minicars”. The organization that spans Toyota and Daihatsu, “Emerging Market Compact Car Company”, will be disbanded. At the same time, the product planning function will also be transferred to the Toyota Compact Car Company, and the business and product management functions will be transferred to Toyota’s business and sales department.

It is reported that the full name of Daihatsu Motors is Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd., with its headquarters located in Ikeda City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan. It was established in 1907 and is the most popular manufacturer of light and micro cars in Japan. In 1998, Toyota officially acquired Daihatsu Motor Industry and obtained 51.2% of Daihatsu’s shares, and thereafter became a subsidiary of the Toyota Motor Group, mainly focusing on the manufacturing of small cars, which accounts for about 4% of Toyota Motor’s global sales. Currently, Daihatsu Motors has four complete vehicle factories in the local market in Japan, and the cumulative annual output in 2022 exceeds 920,000 vehicles. In December 2023, Daihatsu Motors admitted the existence of illegal acts such as forging safety crash test data, and then the company suspended its production activities.

On December 20, 2023, Daihatsu Motors in Japan released a 162-page third-party investigation report. After investigation, in addition to the forgery of door trim parts in April and the forgery of pole side crash test in May, it was also found that there were 174 cases of fraud in 25 new test items. The number of confirmed fraud models is 64 models and 3 engines, including models that have been discontinued. Affected by this investigation, it also includes Toyota Motors Corporation (referred to as “Toyota”), Mazda Motors Corporation (referred to as “Mazda”), and Subaru Motors Corporation (referred to as “Subaru”). According to the investigation results, Daihatsu Motors decided to suspend the shipment of all Daihatsu developed models produced in Japan and overseas, and Toyota also decided to suspend the shipment of these models. On December 21, 2023, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism conducted an on-site inspection of Daihatsu.

On January 16, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will withdraw the procedure for the safety certification of three Daihatsu Motors models. The affected models include Toyota Town Ace, Mazda Bongo, and Daihatsu Gran Max. At the same time, Tetsuo Saito, the minister of the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, issued a rectification order to Soichiro Okudaira, the president of Daihatsu Motors, requiring Daihatsu Motors to take measures to prevent such incidents from happening again.

On January 19, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism stated that through the inspection, it was confirmed that Daihatsu Motors had carried out improper actions on 46 models. Among the 46 models confirmed to have fraud, except for one model under development, the other 45 models carried out technical verification such as the confirmation test of the compliance with the Road Transport Vehicle Law standards. The test results confirmed that five models met the standards of the Road Transport Vehicle Law, so the instructions to stop the shipment of these five models were lifted. On January 24, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism announced that the Toyota subsidiary, Daihatsu Industrial Company in Japan, submitted an application to recall a total of 322,740 cars of two models. On January 31, Daihatsu Motors resumed the production of two cars.

Affected by the fraud incident, this February, Toyota Motors announced the latest organizational structure of Daihatsu Motors Co., Ltd. For the inconvenience and concerns brought about by the recent certified compliance issues, Toyota once again expressed its deepest apologies to customers, suppliers, dealers, the communities where the factories are located, and many other stakeholders. At the same time, Sunao Matsubayashi, the chairman of Daihatsu Motors, and Soichiro Okudaira, the president of Daihatsu Motors, will resign. Among them, after Soichiro Okudaira resigned, the position will be taken over by Masahiro Inou, the chief executive of Latin America and the Caribbean region, and the appointment will take effect from March 1.

Hit by scandals such as data forgery and other violations, it was reported that Daihatsu Motors under Toyota may lose more than 100 billion yen (approximately equivalent to 700 million US dollars). In addition, the new car sales in Japan of Daihatsu Motors decreased by more than 80%, and Toyota’s sales in Japan decreased by more than 30%. The data shows that in February this year, the sales of Daihatsu Industries in Japan were only more than 9,000 vehicles, a sharp drop of 82% year-on-year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *