Daihatsu Motor implements major changes to address certification testing fraud

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In response to a scandal involving fraudulent practices in government certification testing that persisted for decades, Daihatsu Motor Co., a subsidiary of Toyota, has announced significant measures to overhaul its operations and regain trust in the industry.

The automaker’s president, Soichiro Okudaira, vowed to allocate 40 percent more time to vehicle development and increase the number of testing personnel seven-fold. This commitment was made in a report submitted to Transport Minister Tetsuo Saito, signaling a strong determination to rectify past misconduct.

The scandal, as revealed in an investigation report issued by a third-party panel on December 20, was attributed to factors such as “excessively tight and rigid” development schedules and staff cutbacks in the certification division. In light of these findings, Daihatsu has announced several key initiatives:

  1. Extended Development Schedule: Daihatsu plans to extend the standard vehicle development schedule by 40 percent. This adjustment aims to alleviate the pressure that led to shortcuts and fraudulent practices in the past.
  2. Increased Personnel: The automaker will bolster its certification testing personnel by seven-fold by around June, compared to the staffing levels in January 2023. Additionally, the number of personnel responsible for evaluating safety performances will increase by 50 percent from January last year.
  3. Enhanced Monitoring System: Daihatsu will establish a multi-tiered system to monitor the appropriateness of certification testing. This system is designed to prevent future misconduct and ensure compliance with laws and regulations.

In light of the scandal, Daihatsu suspended all vehicle production at its four group factories. However, there are plans to resume production soon:

  • Production at a plant in Oyamazaki, Kyoto Prefecture, is scheduled to resume on February 12.
  • Daihatsu Motor Kyushu Co., a subsidiary, will begin production of 10 vehicles at its plant in Nakatsu, Oita Prefecture, on February 26.

The timeline for resuming production at the remaining two plants, located in Ikeda, Osaka Prefecture, and Ryuo, Shiga Prefecture, is yet to be determined.

These measures reflect Daihatsu’s commitment to rebuilding its reputation and operations, emphasizing transparency, compliance, and ethical conduct in its business practices. The company aims to emerge stronger from this challenging period, demonstrating its dedication to integrity and responsible corporate citizenship.

(Source: The Asahi Simbun | Nikkei Asia | Japan News)

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