Por segunda vez en el año, Toyota Motor Corporation suspendió la entrega de vehículos, activó un recall, lanzó una investigación interna y pidió disculpas públicas por el mismo motivo: se descubrió que miles de autos, utilitarios y motores producidos por la marca Daihatsu (integrante del gigante automotor japonés) violaron controles internos, incumplieron normativas y hasta hicieron trampas en las pruebas de seguridad para llegar a los clientes sin los estándares de calidad establecidos por Toyota.

El primer escándalo de este tipo había estallado en abril de este año, cuando el presidente del directorio de Toyota Motor Corporation, Akio Toyoda, pidió disculpas por haber modificado los autos sometidos a las pruebas de seguridad para obtener calificaciones más elevadas de las que podrían haber alcanzado las unidades que llegaron a los clientes (ver nota).

Ahora se publicó una nueva investigación de la compañía, donde se decidió suspender la entrega de unidades correspondientes a 64 modelos de las marcas Daihatsu y Toyota. La medida también afecta a algunas unidades de kei-cars producidos por Daihatsu para las marcas Subaru y Mazda.

Los modelos afectados por la suspensión de entregas afectarán a los mercados de Japón, Europa, Sudamérica y el Sudeste asiático. Por el momento, no se mencionaron unidades comercializadas en la Argentina, aunque sí impacta en productos vendidos en Uruguay, Ecuador, México, Chile y Perú.

En la investigación inicial difundida en abril, el escándalo de vehículos adulterados para crash tests afectó a 88 mil unidades de los Toyota Yaris producidos por Daihatsu. La ampliación de esta investigación descubrió que Daihatsu también adulteraba los motores para fraguar los ensayos de emisiones ambientales.

Toyota Motor Corporation pidió disculpas en un comunicado oficial (leer completo abajo) y anunció "reformas fundamentales" para "revitalizar la marca Daihatsu y rever todas sus operaciones de certificaciones de calidad".

Daihatsu no es la única marca de Toyota Motor Corporation que admitió haber hecho trampa en las certificaciones de sus autos. La firma de camiones Hino, perteneciente al mismo grupo, también reconoció haber falseado resultados de los ensayos de emisiones contaminantes (ver nota).


VIDEO: Pedido de disculpas de Toyota Motor Corporation

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Notice of Additional Procedural Irregularities by Daihatsu in Certification Applications, Shipment Suspension of Vehicles Sold by Toyota, and Responses Going Forward (as of December 17)

Toyota City, Japan, December 20, 2023―Today, Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. (Daihatsu) received the investigation results of the Independent Third-Party Committee (chaired by Makoto Kaiami) commissioned by Daihatsu regarding procedural irregularities, which it reported to Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) in turn. The investigation found new irregularities in 174 items within 25 test categories, in addition to the door lining irregularity in April and the side collision test irregularity in May. These encompassed a total of 64 models and 3 engines of vehicles (total of models currently being produced, developed, or ceased in production), including 22 models and 1 engine being sold by Toyota.

We would like to express our sincere apologies for the inconvenience and concern this has caused to all stakeholders, including customers.

In response to these findings, Daihatsu decided today to temporarily suspend shipments of all Daihatsu-developed models currently in production, both in Japan and overseas. Toyota has also decided to temporarily suspend shipments of the affected models.

Over the course of the investigation by the Independent Third-Party Committee, Daihatsu received some information regarding models that may have been involved in the procedural irregularities. In response, Daihatsu has been conducting one-by-one in-house technical verifications and actual vehicle testing for these vehicles to ensure that their safety and environmental performance meet legal standards.

In the final stage of the investigation, it was discovered that a different airbag control unit (ECU) than the mass-production model was used for the airbag tests for Daihatsu Move / SUBARU Stella, Daihatsu Cast / Toyota Pixis Joy, Daihatsu Gran Max / Toyota Town Ace / Mazda Bongo. Although technical verification confirmed that the airbag met standards of occupant protection performance, in the course of testing, it was found that the "Safety Performance Standard for Occupant Evacuation (Unlocking)" in the side collision test of Daihatsu Cast / Toyota Pixis Joy may not comply with the law. At this time, we are not aware of any accident information related to this matter, but we are conducting thorough technical verification and investigating the cause to take necessary measures as soon as possible.

For other cases, we have confirmed that the performance standards specified by the regulations are met, and the validity of the verification results and process has also been confirmed by TUV Rheinland Japan (TRJ), a third-party certification organization.

Certification consists of having the national authorities inspect and confirm that vehicles meet various standards so that customers can drive their vehicles with peace of mind. We consider certification to be a major prerequisite for doing business as an automobile manufacturer. We recognize the extreme gravity of the fact that Daihatsu's neglect of the certification process has shaken the very foundations of the company as an automobile manufacturer.

Since 2013, Toyota has been increasing the number of OEM models it receives from other companies, mainly compact vehicles. We deeply regret that the development of these vehicles may have been a burden on Daihatsu and that we were not aware of the situation with the company's certification operations.

Daihatsu has informed us that, going forward, it will clarify the situation with the authorities and take appropriate action under their guidance. It will also thoroughly investigate whether there have been any other similar cases to ensure customer safety first and foremost. We at Toyota will also fully cooperate with this investigation.

We believe in order to prevent recurrence, in addition to a review of certification operations, a fundamental reform is needed to revitalize Daihatsu as a company. This will be an extremely significant task that cannot be accomplished overnight. It will require not only a review of management and business operations but also a review of the organization and structure, as well as a change in human resource development and awareness of each and every employee. Toyota will provide our full support to Daihatsu's revitalization so that it can return to its roots as the "compact mobility company" that Toyota and Daihatsu are striving for it to be, as well as regain the trust of all stakeholders.

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