Japanese truck maker Hino says emissions data has been falsified for 20 years

TOKYO — Hino Motors, a truck maker part of the Toyota Group, has systematically falsified emissions data dating back to 2003, according to the results of an investigation released Tuesday.

Chairman Satoshi Ogiso bowed deeply at a hastily called press conference and apologized to customers and other stakeholders.

“I’m so sorry,” he said. “Unfortunately, mistakes were made for a wide variety of models.”

Teams developing engines knew they couldn’t meet targets and felt so pressured that they tampered with test results, Ogiso said. This led to more deception as workers covered up their misdeeds. No security issues appear to be involved, Ogiso said.

Hino admitted in March to falsifying government-required emissions and mileage testing data. A group of outside experts has been set up to investigate.

In a 17-page report, he blamed an “inward-looking and conservative culture” at the company that led to a lack of engagement and solidarity among employees.

Experts told reporters that the company’s management had failed to engage with frontline workers, putting numerical targets and timelines first and sacrificing operational procedures.

Hino said it takes the findings seriously and will propose measures to prevent them from happening again, including implementing an appropriate verification system, revising the rules and strengthening the corporate culture.

Ogiso promised to educate Hino’s workforce and foster a more open company culture and proper work ethic, stressing that the issue was company-wide, not just with teams. in question.

“I am determined to revive, and we are realizing it in clear action,” said Ogiso, who previously worked at Toyota, Japan’s top automaker.

Uncovered misconduct included altering emissions-related durability tests on a wide range of models and falsifying fuel efficiency information on heavy-duty engines.

Hino has recalled 67,000 vehicles in Japan linked to the faulty data. How Hino’s financial results will be affected by the latest disclosure remains unclear, Ogiso said. The affected vehicles could total nearly 300,000 vehicles, according to Hino.

Whether he and former leaders step down to take responsibility will be decided later after a full review of the scandal, he said.

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda relayed a message, read by Ogiso at the press conference.

“Wrongdoing at Hino has betrayed the trust of customers and other stakeholders. I deeply regret what happened,” Toyoda said in the post.

Regarding models sold overseas, Hino said it was cooperating with investigations by US and European authorities.

Hino produces vehicles sold under the Toyota brand, including the Land Cruiser Prado sport utility vehicle, in addition to Hino trucks. Hino notified the Japanese government of the results. Hino shares fell 10% on Tuesday in Tokyo. Toyota fell 2.6%.

The scandal at Hino, 50.1% owned by Toyota, is the latest of many that have proved embarrassing for a country that prides itself on a reputation for discipline, craftsmanship and attention to detail .

In 2018, Suzuki Motor Corp., Mazda Motor Corp. and Yamaha Motor Co. admitted to falsifying emissions data, shortly after Nissan Motor Co. and Subaru Corp. recognized a similar fault in their fuel economy data.

In 2018, Japanese prosecutors accused major steelmaker Kobe Steel of years of massive falsification of information on a wide range of products sent to more than 680 companies, including aluminum castings and copper tubes for automobiles. , planes, appliances and trains.

In 2015, an investigation into Mitsubishi Motors Corp. revealed a major fraud on mileage data over 25 years. The automaker had admitted to covering up vehicle flaws such as failing brakes, faulty clutches and improperly installed fuel tanks in the early 2000s. This misconduct began in the 1970s.

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