Toyota won’t be punished for cheating tests of HiLux, LandCruiser diesels

A trio of Toyota turbo-diesel engines – which power the HiLux, LandCruiser Prado and LandCruiser among others – won’t have their certification revoked in Japan, almost two months after the carmaker admitted to using different software for official testing.

Last month, the Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced it had discovered “irregularities” during engine testing of three turbo-diesel powertrains produced by Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO).

The three engines were found to have been fitted with engine control units (ECUs) for certification testing which differed from those in mass production, raising concerns that Toyota had deliberately cheated government testing.

Australian-delivered models fitted with the three engines include the Toyota HiLux, LandCruiser 300 Series, LandCruiser 70 Series, Fortuner, HiAce and Granvia and Lexus LX.

Despite the engine testing irregularities, The Japan Times reports the Japanese transport ministry hasn’t revoked Toyota’s certification for the three turbo-diesel engines, saying it didn’t find any misconduct by the auto giant.

However, it will revoke the certification for three mass-produced industrial engines which power Toyota forklifts and other heavy equipment, though the brand is due to face a hearing next week regarding its outcome.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference, Japanese transport minister Tetsuo Saito said, “We will urge the company [Toyota] to carry out reforms so that similar misconduct never happens again.”

The Japan Times reports TICO President Koichi Ito said, “We take this matter very seriously. We will make utmost efforts to reform and rebuild the company.”

Toyota CEO Koji Sato has since apologised for the scandal, telling Japanese media the company’s management “was not able to fully comprehend and keep track of the details of what was happening on the ground”.

The certification saga emerged as the latest in a series of scandals involving Toyota and its subsidiaries within the past two years.

In July 2022, Toyota’s truck division Hino admitted to have falsified emissions data for 860,000 commercial vehicles globally since 2003.

In December 2023, Toyota’s small car specialist brand Daihatsu suspended manufacturing in Japan following the discovery that it falsified safety data and used unauthorised safety testing procedures, dating back to 1989.

Earlier this month, two of Daihatsu’s top executives stepped down due to their involvement with the safety scandal.

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