Daihatsu has acknowledged that it had engaged in “cheating,” specifically with regard to crash safety tests performed for regulatory certification applications for 4 of its models. This includes the new Toyota Vios (badged as the Yaris Ativ in Thailand and other markets), the Toyota Agya, the 2023 Perodua Axia, and a yet unreleased model.
The issue was acknowledged by Toyota’s wholly-owned subsidiary in a statement, which also noted that approximately 88,000 impacted model units had already been sold in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Mexico. New shipments have now been put on hold. According to Daihatsu’s statement:
“We deeply apologize for betraying the trust of our customers and other stakeholders and for causing great inconvenience and concern.”
However, the statement from the parent company Toyota is even harsher. Akio Toyoda, the Chairman of the Toyota Board who recently stepped down as CEO of the company, said:
“Daihatsu’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. 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.”
Daihatsu mentioned that “the inside lining of the front seat door was improperly modified, and that there was a violation of the side collision test procedures and methods stipulated by regulations.”
According to Reuters, the concerned vehicles’ door trim has been updated with a “notch” to reduce the possibility that the door panel will break with a sharp edge and inflict injury when the side airbag deploys. The notch alteration is not found in production automobiles.
Following the suspension of new shipments, Daihatsu and Toyota said they will re-test (the side collision tests) in the presence of inspection and certification authorities, and if it is confirmed that the side impact performance complies with regulations, only then the shipment will be resumed.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com