Toyota – Daihatsu’s Crash Test Scandal: A Breach of Trust in the Auto Industry – The Dark Side of Car Manufacturing
A recent whistle-blower report revealed that Daihatsu, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota, rigged side-collision tests of a few vehicles. Since the crash tests, Daihatsu sold 88,123 units of said vehicles as of March 2023. Toyota sold 76,289 of the 88,123 affected vehicles in the form of Yaris Ativ/Vios. Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda apologised and called it an unacceptable breach of customer trust.
Apart from Yaris Ativ, this breach of trust affected 11,834 units of Perodua Axia, manufactured by Daihatsu-Perodua partnership, in Thailand and Malaysia. Toyota Agya and a model in development are affected too, but sales haven’t commenced as of March 2023. The 76,000+ affected Toyota Yaris Ativ are marketed/sold in Thailand, Mexico, and GCC member countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.
4 Cars Affected – Toyota Yaris Ativ/Vios, Perodua Axia, Toyota Agya, A new model
A part of the door on test vehicles was rigged. Reportedly, a notch was installed in test vehicle doors, which isn’t part of regular production. This modification reportedly reduces possibilities of door interior trim deforming into sharp objects when side airbags are deployed, causing injuries to occupants. The end goal for the notch modified test cars was to minimise impact on safety ratings. As of now, both Toyota and Daihatsu are unaware of how widespread this knowledge was.
Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda said both Toyota and Daihatsu are investigating how this happened. Investigation into this breach of customer trust will take time. Toyoda promised both companies will work sincerely to prevent recurrence of something similar. Since the whistleblower report, Daihatsu has stopped production of Toyota Yaris Ativ and Perodua Axia.
Daihatsu has ceased production of affected models. The company will re-test said vehicles for side collision. This time, in the presence of certification authorities and a thorough inspection. Production and shipment will only resume when the cars meet regulations for side impact performance. The companies advised owners of said 88,123 vehicles not to take any action for continued use.
Can Toyota – Daihatsu Bounce Back After Rigging Side-Collision Tests?
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.
Since this problem occurred with a Toyota brand passenger car, we believe that the problem is not limited to Daihatsu. 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.”