TOKYO (AP) – Toyota has found improper model-year crash tests and outstanding shipments, the latest in a string of embarrassing problems plaguing Japan’s largest automaker.
The latest issue, disclosed late Friday, affects 56,111 Toyota Rise Hybrid vehicles produced by Daihatsu Motor Co., the manufacturer that specializes in small models wholly owned by Toyota.
It also affects 22,329 vehicles sold as the Daihatsu Rocky, according to the automakers. All cars were sold in Japan.
Daihatsu said that in faulty crash tests, the results of a pole used to measure impact on the left side of a right-hander were used, when both sides had to be tested.
Just a week ago, Toyota Motor Corp. acknowledged a data breach in its online service, which is operated by a conglomerate. The breach spanned a decade, meaning drivers’ information on more than two million vehicles was at risk of being leaked. No violations have been reported.
Last month, a separate crash test issue for Daihatsu models sold abroad, affecting 88,123 cars, was revealed. Another review found irregularities in the Japanese market as well, according to the automakers.
The previous problem affected the Toyota Yaris ATIV sold in Thailand, Mexico and some Gulf countries, the Perodua Axia sold in Malaysia and the Toyota Agia sold in Ecuador.
Daihatsu apologized at the time and set up a third-party team to investigate. It did not issue a summons, stating that the vehicles were safe to drive, but was very sorry for violating inspection standards.
Toyota models were supplied by Daihatsu under the OEM system, common in the industry, in which products manufactured by another company are sold with a different nameplate.
Toyota, which sells about 10 million vehicles each year, sets a record for original quality, and centers around a production system that empowers the individual worker.
Recent issues do not include recalls. But Toyota went through a period of announcing recall after recall over several years more than a decade ago, covering up a wide range of defects, including floor mats, sticky gas pedals and glitches in braking software, affecting millions of vehicles.
The recall failures in 2009 and 2010 prompted Toyota to pay $48.8 million in fines in the United States for its slow response. Toyota officials have repeatedly promised to be faster and more transparent.
The company, which is based in the central Japan city of Toyota, said in its latest statement that management has renewed its “commitment to manufacturing with integrity.”
“All of our group companies, including Toyota, have initiated a comprehensive review of the business in order to fully reaffirm our governance system. We will work with Daihatsu to address this issue.”
Yuri Kageyama is on Twitter https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
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