Hino Motors, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor, has announced that it has discovered a flaw in engine performance testing for its light commercial trucks related to emissions. A few weeks after Hino Motors admitted that heavy-duty trucks had high emissions due to decades of inaction, it learned again that its light-duty trucks also had substandard engine emissions. Weaknesses in quality control have widened the range of truck types. The company has admitted that it has failed to comply with regulations on the minimum level of emissions.
This time, the Hino Dutro light truck engine was submitted to the authorities without checking the requirement to test it at least twice in accordance with the regulations. Hino has stopped factory deliveries of trucks equipped with the affected engines. Now, any truck equipped with Hino’s engine cannot be sent to the Japanese domestic market. Around 40% of Hino’s global production has been halted.
In addition, almost all of Hino’s trucks have been suspended for delivery to the Japanese market. About 60% of Japan’s domestic production has been halted as truck deliveries from the factory have stopped. 19,000 Toyota brands Dyna and Toyoace in Japan equipped with the defective engine are also affected. “This is a very serious matter. Nothing can be protected. Our self-verified results were incorrect and the authorities found irregularities,” Hino’s president Satoshi Ogiso told a news conference. Ogiso promised that the results of the investigation would be available within 3 months.
He said the company will determine the extent to which previous and current management are responsible for the mistakes. These problems are compounded by a lack of understanding of the regulations and lack of adequate procedures to verify the certification process.
He stressed that it was not “done on purpose“. Smoke-free inspections were carried out through previous cases of air pollution production data fraud. In early August, the authorities conducted an on-site inspection of the trucks and found out that the light trucks also had engine defects. Hino has admitted that it has not provided real data on engine emissions and performance for nearly 20 years. Since 2019, about 76,000 Hino Dutro trucks have been sold. There are a total of 640,000 trucks past and present that have not been truthfully reported.
It is currently unknown when the models affected by the problem will be remanufactured. “The authorities are still investigating. We will follow their instructions,” Ogiso said. Akio Toyoda, head of Toyota Motor, said, “As Hino’s parent company and as a shareholder, we are deeply saddened that the hopes and trust of our stakeholders have been significantly eroded by new revelations of Hino’s wrongdoings.” He said Toyota will continue to monitor whether Hino can be reborn as a company worthy of its stakeholders’ trust.