Toyota cheats emissions, halts 3 models

In a major blow to its reputation, Toyota acknowledged widespread cheating on certification tests for seven vehicle models. The automaker’s chairman, Akio Toyoda, issued a deep bow of apology while announcing the suspension of production for three of the affected vehicles.

The fraudulent testing involved using outdated data in collision tests, manipulating airbag deployment simulations, and falsifying engine power output. While Toyota insists the safety of existing vehicles is not compromised, the scandal raises questions about the company’s commitment to quality control.

Toyota halted production in Japan for the Corolla Fielder, Corolla Axio, and Yaris Cross models. The deceptive testing practices also affected discontinued models. The Japanese government launched an investigation into the matter in January.

The fallout extended beyond Toyota, with rival automaker Mazda admitting irregularities in its certification process. Mazda halted production of the Roadster and Mazda 2 models due to improper engine control software used in testing. They also acknowledged violations in crash tests for discontinued vehicles, though none affected safety.

Honda joined the chorus of apologies, revealing improper testing procedures for noise levels and torque on certain models, though safety concerns were again absent. Affected Honda models, including the Accord, Odyssey, and Fit, are no longer in production.

These revelations come as a shock to the industry, with Toyota long revered for its meticulous production methods and “ever-better cars” philosophy. The scandal raises concerns about a potential shift within the company culture.

Chairman Toyoda attempted to deflect some blame, suggesting overly stringent regulations and the pressure to keep pace with a growing number of models may have contributed to the shortcuts taken. However, he emphasized that the violations are unacceptable.

Toyota faces the daunting task of rebuilding trust with consumers. Toyoda acknowledged shortcomings but vowed to rectify the situation. He suggested a focus on streamlining testing procedures while staying true to the company’s core values.

This scandal underscores the importance of transparency and ethical practices within the automotive industry. As Toyota seeks to regain its footing, the world watches to see if its commitment to quality remains at the forefront.

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