Daihatsu Cheated Safety Testing For 88,000 Cars

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Daihatsu Cheated Safety Testing For 88,000 CarsKAZUHIRO NOGI - Getty Images

Toyota confirmed today that its affiliate brand Daihatsu manipulated interior door trim during side-collision crash testing of one of its products to avoid the discovery of a potential injury risk. The rigged testing has impacted some 88,000 vehicles sold globally, the vast majority of which left the factory with a Toyota badge.

According to a Daihatsu, a whistleblower from inside the company first raised concerns over the untruthful testing earlier this month. The automaker acknowledges that it began an investigation following the notice, ultimately discovering that modifications had indeed been done to the interior of a vehicle ahead of safety tests. More specifically, interior door trim pieces had been modified with a notch in an effort to prevent a sharp break upon deployment of the side airbags. This modification was not matched on the production vehicles, which raised questions about a potential safety risk. Impacted vehicles include the Toyota Yaris Ativ built from August 2022, as well as the Perodua Axia built from February 2023. The Yaris makes up the majority of the impacted vehicles, with 76,289 units sold in markets such as Mexico, Thailand, and countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council.

toyota yaris ativ 2023

The whistleblower report did not make it initially clear who inside the company approved the modification to the test vehicles, nor how widely known the action was. Daihatsu reported the issue to regulators upon the discovery, and issued a shipment freeze on affected models. There are currently no steps outlined by Toyota for impacted owners to take. The automaker is undergoing a larger internal investigation in relation to the incident, but is not currently aware of any injuries related to the door trim.

“Since this problem occurred with a Toyota brand passenger car, we believe that the problem is not limited to Daihatsu,” said Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda in a statement. “We 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. We will also inform the public in a timely manner regarding the facts we learn through our investigations.”

Daihatsu became a wholly owned Toyota subsidiary in 2016 Toyota acquired Daihatsu as a wholly owned subsidiary under Toyoda back in 2016. Toyoda was serving as president of the company at the time, a role he just stepped down from earlier this month. This marks the first challenge of this kind for the brand under the leadership of the newly appointed president Koji Sato. That will start with Daihatsu running new safety tests with regulators present to confirm that no active safety risk exists.

2023 toyota yaris ativ sedan

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