Toyota-owned carmaker Daihatsu has closed all four of its plants until the end of January, after admitting it had falsified safety tests.
Daihatsu, the Japanese car manufacturer, has admitted to manipulating safety tests on 64 models for three decades. This shocking revelation led to the closure of its headquarters in Osaka, Japan, on December 25. The scandal threatens the jobs of 9,000 workers in Japan and could tarnish the reputation of Toyota, the global automotive giant associated with Daihatsu.
Of the implicated models, 24 are marketed under the Toyota brand. The shutdown of the Osaka plant follows earlier closures in Oita, Shiga, and Kyoto prefectures. Daihatsu’s decision to halt vehicle shipments came after a transport ministry investigation uncovered the fraudulent practices.
The company acknowledged that the falsification of test results stemmed from pressures to maintain continuous production. Daihatsu has pledged to work with its main suppliers to mitigate the scandal’s impact. Additionally, it plans to support smaller subcontractors that are ineligible for compensation through Japan’s transport ministry funds.
Read MoreSource bbc.com : Daihatsu Pauses Production Over Safety Scandal
Daihatsu Halts Production Amidst Safety Test Manipulation Scandal
During the shutdown, Daihatsu will compensate 423 domestic suppliers directly connected to its business operations. Founded in 1907, Daihatsu sells approximately 1.1 million cars annually, contributing about 10% to Toyota’s yearly sales of 10 million vehicles.
David Bailey, a motor industry analyst, explained to the BBC’s World Service that the issue began in April with falsified collision tests. Further investigations by an independent commission appointed by Toyota uncovered more discrepancies, including issues with airbags and speed tests. While the vehicles’ safety isn’t currently in question, the discrepancy between tested and sold vehicle components has raised significant concerns.
Toyota’s reputation previously suffered due to recalls in 2009 over faulty floor mats and accelerator pedals and in 2012 for more than seven million vehicles worldwide due to defective window switches. These events led to significant changes at Toyota, focusing on quality and external quality checks. However, these reforms seemingly did not extend to Daihatsu.
Analysts point out that the pressure to grow has affected many car manufacturers. In 2015, Volkswagen faced allegations of its diesel vehicles emitting more pollutants than advertised. This violated the US Environmental Protection Act. The Daihatsu scandal is the latest in the automotive industry’s challenges. It underscores the tension between growth and maintaining safety and environmental standards.