Daihatsu, the Japanese automaker owned by Toyota, has shut down its factories in Japan, months after the automaker admitted to falsifying safety tests on vehicles, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
The shutdown follows Daihatsu Motor Co.’s announcement last week that it would suspend all vehicle shipments in and outside of Japan after an independent investigation found problems with 64 vehicle models.
In the latest probe, the company said investigators found 174 new cases of irregularities in safety tests and other procedures in 25 test categories. This included evidence of tampering with safety tests, creating false information or fabricating test data, the company said.
The release of the probe’s details prompted Japan’s Transport Ministry to begin on-site inspections last week, according to multiple local media reports. These inspections are looking into issues that apparently have been present at the company for decades, with the first irregularity dating back to 1989.
Daihatsu this week said it began shutting down some lines on Monday and halted production at all four Japanese plants in Shiga, Kyoto and Oita prefectures, along with its headquarters in Osaka on Tuesday, the AP reported.
The company did not say when production will restart, but a company representative told CNN the shutdown is expected to last through at least the end of January.
The Hill reached out to Toyota for further comment.
Last week’s probe and the ongoing investigation by Japan’s Transport Ministry serves as the latest blow to Daihatsu, which has faced several issues in the past year.
In April, Daihatsu admitted to violating standards for collision tests and procedures on more than 88,000 vehicles, including cars mostly sold under the Toyota brand in Thailand and Malaysia.
Later in May, the company said it discovered other problems with its side collision testing for two hybrid electric vehicles.
In a statement last week, Toyota apologized for the “inconvenience and concern” the findings have caused to stakeholders and stressed the importance of reform moving forward.
“We believe in order to prevent recurrence, in addition to a review of certification operations, a fundamental reform is needed to revitalize Daihatsu as a company,” Toyota wrote. “Toyota will provide our full support to Daihatsu’s revitalization so that it can return to its roots as the ‘compact mobility company’ that Toyota and Daihatsu are striving for it to be, as well as regain the trust of all stakeholders.”
Daihatsu’s shutdown is expected to impact about 9,000 employees who work in domestic production, a company representative told CNN. Daihatsu factories have supply chains including 8,136 companies across Japan, with total sales equaling about $15.53 billion, the AP reported, citing the market research company Teikoku Databank.
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