Daihatsu, a subsidiary of Toyota, has admitted to rigging the results of its crash tests on approximately 88,000 cars for overseas markets.
Many of the vehicles involved were small cars sold in Southeast Asia and the Americas under the Toyota brand, including the Yaris Ativ, Agya, and Perodua Axia. Each model had been altered to produce better safety results in a testing environment.
A release by Daihatsu states that the inside lining of the front seat door was “improperly modified” to minimise the risk of injury to occupants when the side airbag deployed in an accident. However, this modification was not made to production vehicles.
A total of 76,289 Yaris Ativ, 11,834 Axia, an undisclosed amount of Agya models and one vehicle in development are affected, making up an overall figure of 88,123 units.
Chairman of the Board of Toyota, Akio Toyoda, released a statement regarding the matter which involves both Daihatsu and its parent company.
“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,” Toyoda said.
“We would like to sincerely apologize to our customers around the world and all related parties for the inconvenience and concern this has caused.”
He added that the problem is not limited to Daihatsu considering the safety results apply to Toyota branded vehicles.
Alongside an internal investigation, Toyota and Daihatsu have employed a third-party committee to investigate further, while sales of the affected models have been suspended.