Japanese automaker Daihatsu has stopped all domestic vehicle production through January after revealing widespread, decades-long falsification of safety testing data. The company admitted to manipulating test results for over 30 years across 64 models, including some Toyota-branded vehicles.
The stunning admission deals a major blow to Daihatsu’s reputation and credibility. Parent company Toyota stated the revelations have “shaken the very foundations of the company.”
The safety scandal first came to light in May 2022, when Daihatsu found falsified data had been submitted for collision testing of two hybrid models. Those vehicles were quickly pulled from sale.
However, last week an independent probe uncovered the manipulation was far more systemic and ingrained. Investigators identified over 170 cases where Daihatsu engineers improperly tampered with vehicles or lied about test results to achieve certification.
In total, safety testing data was forged for dozens of models dating back to the early 1990s. The scale of impropriety led Daihatsu to halt all production indefinitely within Japan starting this week. How could such large-scale data manipulation go undetected for over 30 years?
Exports and international shipments are also paused as the automaker scrambles to contain the crisis. Daihatsu stated it will work closely with authorities to determine how to rectify decades of faulty safety testing.
Considering safety and durability are key pillars of Toyota and Daihatsu’s reputations, the scandal calls into question the integrity of many models. The potential scale of recalled vehicles could be massive, dealing a serious blow to Daihatsu’s finances and market share.
With trust badly shaken, Daihatsu and Toyota face a long road to regain consumer confidence. Until oversight and procedures are overhauled, the very foundations of the company remain doubtful. For an automaker synonymous with reliability, Daihatsu’s systemic lapses are nothing short of shocking.