It’s been quite tough for Toyota subsidiary brands, sometime last year it was found out that Hino was found to be falsifying engine data and was duly punished. Still reeling from that, the Japanese auto giant’s Daihatsu branch has just been caught with its pants down.
Toyota/Daihatsu crash test scandal
News broke late last week that Daihatsu was caught and has admitted to rigging side-impact crash tests of around 88,000 vehicles in order to pass the tests. It was discovered that Daihatsu had changed the side panel of the Yaris Ativ (Vios) and the Perodua Axia / Toyota Agya (Wigo).
To better explain here is the official statement by the Daihatsu brand: “Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd. (Daihatsu) has confirmed that it has committed procedural irregularity in approval application for side collision tests for vehicles (4 models) developed by Daihatsu destined for overseas markets.
We deeply apologize for betraying the trust of our customers and other stakeholders and for causing great inconvenience and concern.”
This overwhelming admission has forced Toyota boss Akio Toyoda to apologize to the public for an “unacceptable” violation of consumer trust. An internal investigation is underway and the brands have reached out to all markets and stopped shipment of the affected vehicles in the meantime.
Right now no vehicles sold in PH are affected, but we have heard that the all-new Wigo which shares a platform and components with the Axia/Agya is set to be launched soon. Could this latest scandal have an effect on the Philippine launch? we’ll have to wait and see.
What is pressing however is both brands need to reestablish the lost consumer trust, the Toyota Daihatsu partnership is vital as the vehicles produced under them are some of the highest sellers. Any scandal that has something to do with safety can paint a bleak picture of any brand’s future, hopefully, it gets resolved quickly.