Daihatsu builds a number of small cars for Toyota, who's been Daihatsu's parent company since 2016. Of those cars, over 88,000 were tampered with to pass safety tests they otherwise wouldn't pass. Both companies are launching internal investigations into how this happened and how to remedy the issue with customers.
According to Reuters, part of the front door's inside lining was modified for testing to prevent the door breaking with a sharp edge that could hurt passengers in a side collision.
Four different vehicles were tampered with to pass safety testing, however only three were named and only two were sold to the public. The two affected cars that were sold were the Toyota Yaris ATIV (76,289 cars) and the Toyota Perodua Axia (11,834 cars). They were built in either Thailand or Malaysia and were sold to Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, and Gulf Cooperation Countries (the United Arab Emirtes, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Oman).
However, two affected models haven't reached production just yet. The Toyota Agya was set to be built in Indonesia starting in June 2023. Daihatsu declined to name the fourth affected model, stating that it's in development and that the matter concerns product plans.
"We consider this an absolutely unacceptable act that betrays the trust of our customers. We would like to sincerely apologize to our customers around the world and all related parties for the inconvenience and concern this has caused," said Akio Toyoda, Toyota chairman of the board, in a press release.
According to Toyota, the culprit of such modifications is unknown. As part of their manufacturing agreement, Daihatsu is responsible for the entire process of vehicle development, as well as passing any required certification testing. From there, Toyota gets government approval for the the vehicles and sells them under its own name. So while it seems like this tampering is from Daihatsu's side, Toyota is investigating both companies.
"Since this problem occurred with a Toyota brand passenger car, we believe that the problem is not limited to Daihatsu." Toyoda said.
Got tips? Send 'em to email@example.com