Daihatsu has just confirmed that it has committed “wrongdoings” in particular crash safety tests done for regulatory approval applications for four models. This includes the 2023 Perodua Axia, Toyota Vios (badged as the Yaris Ativ in Thailand and other markets), Toyota Agya and a yet-to-be-launched model.
Toyota’s subsidiary admitted the act in a statement, and added that over 88,000 units of affected models have been sold in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Mexico so far. New shipments have been suspended.
“We deeply apologise for betraying the trust of our customers and other stakeholders and for causing great inconvenience and concern,” reads the Daihatsu statement. Toyota’s separate statement is far harsher.
“Daihatsu’s wrongdoing is a matter that concerns safety, which is the most important aspect of vehicles. We consider this an absolutely unacceptable act that betrays the trust of our customers. Since this problem occurred with a Toyota brand passenger car, we believe that the problem is not limited to Daihatsu,” said Akio Toyoda, Toyota Chairman of the Board.
“We will begin by conducting a detailed investigation and thoroughly collecting facts to understand the situation, determine the true cause, and work diligently to prevent a recurrence. We will also inform the public in a timely manner regarding the facts we learn through our investigations,” he added.
Daihatsu mentioned that “the inside lining of the front seat door was improperly modified, and that there was a violation of the side collision test procedures and methods stipulated by regulations.”
According to Reuters, the door trim on the affected vehicles had been modified with a “notch” to minimise the risk that the door panel could break with a sharp edge and cause injuries when the side airbag is deployed. The modification, i.e. the notch, is not present in production vehicles.
With new shipments already suspended, Daihatsu, together with Toyota, will “re-test (the side collision tests) in the presence of inspection and certification authorities, and if it is confirmed that the side impact performance complies with regulations, we will resume shipment.”
However, Daihatsu has assured that “at this time, there is no need for customers using these models to take any action for continued use.”