Toyota: Toyota's Daihatsu stopped production, cheated customers on vehicle safety for 30 years

Pankaj Prasad
Daihatsu Mira eS
Daihatsu Mira eS

Daihatsu, a subsidiary of global auto giant Toyota, has halted the production of all its vehicles in Japan and overseas markets.

Daihatsu, a subsidiary of global auto giant Toyota, has halted the production of all its vehicles in Japan and overseas markets. Because an investigation found that the company has misrepresented the safety test results of its vehicles for more than 30 years.

"We deeply regret causing immense inconvenience and concern to our customers and other stakeholders and betraying their trust," Daihatsu said in an official statement.

The investigation, which was about procedural irregularities, was initiated by Daihatsu and conducted by an independent third-party committee. The investigation revealed that Daihatsu had tampered with the safety test results not only of its own vehicles, but also of models supplied as OEM models to Toyota, Mazda and Subaru.

According to the investigation, 174 new cases of manipulation of safety test data by Daihatsu were discovered. Irregularities were found in 64 models and three engines, including those in production or development and those that were discontinued.

The oldest model in the Daihatsu scandal was the Daihatsu Applause, which was launched in July 1989 and was in production until April 2000. Models still in production include the Toyota Ryzen, Toyota Pixis van, Toyota Copen, Toyota Yaris Cross, Toyota Yaris (sedan) Mazda Bongo, Mazda Familia van, Subaru Rex, Subaru Sambar truck, Subaru Chiffon, Daihatsu Move CANbus, Daihatsu Rocky , Daihatsu Taft, Daihatsu Mira E:S and Daihatsu Tanto.

During the final phase of the investigation, testing on the airbags of Daihatsu Move/Subaru Stella, Daihatsu Cast/Toyota Pixis Joy, Daihatsu Gran Max/Toyota Town Ace/Mazda Bongo revealed irregularities in the airbag deployment computer (ECU) of the mass-produced Didn't like the products.

Daihatsu said that technical verification showed that there was no problem with the passenger protection performance of the airbag. But during validation, it was determined that the Cast/Pixis could not comply with the safety performance regulations related to passenger protection (door unlocking) of the Joy in side collision tests.

"In response to these findings, we have today decided to temporarily suspend shipments of all Daihatsu-developed models currently in production both in Japan and overseas," Daihatsu said.

The Daihatsu scandal is also expected to impact sales of Toyota cars in countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile and Uruguay.

"We will report to and consult with the ministries of land, infrastructure, transportation and tourism, as well as the relevant authorities of each country, and proceed with necessary actions," Daihatsu said.

Daihatsu had already come under investigation in April for irregularities related to the safety of vehicle door trim. Subsequently, irregularities were also found in the vehicles' side pole collision tests in May, further adding to the company's troubles.

Toyota board chairman Akio Toyoda apologized to its customers and related parties in April, noting that the problem was not limited to Daihatsu, as it also happened to a Toyota-branded passenger car.