Carmaker that faked safety tests sees long wait to reopen factories

A JAPANESE automaker that cheated on safety tests for decades said Monday it doesn't expect to resume shipping cars any time soon.

The Japanese government ordered a subsidiary of Toyota to halt production of its entire lineup after reports of faked safety test results emerged last year.

The Daihatsu Motor Co. skipped mandatory safety tests by copying data from testing on one side of cars to the other, and used timers to ensure airbags went off in tests, a review found. No major accidents have been reported in connection with the cheating, but the news has raised serious questions about oversight at Daihatsu, as well as its corporate parent Toyota.

Japanese regulators approved five of the company's models on Friday after more testing, but company leadership said factories will remain shuttered as it waits on suppliers.

Daihatsu corporate manager Keita Ide said Monday the company is working on a plan to prevent cheating in the future.

Daihatsu is known for kei cars, or light automobiles, including the popular Daihatsu Tanto “kei,” or small, car. It also produces the Toyota Raize hybrid sport-utility vehicle, also sold as the Daihatsu Rocky.

An investigation including third-party experts found 174 cases of faked tests affecting dozens of models, including cars sold under the Toyota Motor Corp. nameplate. The review found that cheating went back 30 years.

The scandal began after a whistleblower came forward in April last year. Daihatsu has apologized and promised sweeping reforms of its corporate culture. Daihatsu President Soichiro Okudaira has attributed the cheating to pressure on workers to meet tight deadlines.


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