Three Japanese auto giants admit using fake vehicle emission data

It would be the first time Mazda would be involved in a quality compliance scandal

Japan's Mazda, Suzuki and Yamaha have admitted to conducting improper fuel economy and emissions tests on their vehicles in Japan, in revelations which pile further misery on Japan's beleaguered manufacturing sector.

The findings were the result of internal investigations ordered at the automakers by the ministry after improper testing was found at Subaru Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. According to Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Japan, Suzuki, along with Mazda and Toyota have accepted to having cheated on the emissions tests and submitted a report of samples of manufactured vehicles selected during the quality assurance process.

The conduct of automakers globally has come under intense scrutiny after Germany's Volkswagen AG admitted in 2015 to installing secret software in hundreds of thousands of USA diesel cars to cheat exhaust emissions tests, and that as many as 11 million vehicles could have similar software installed worldwide. The ministry looked at tests done for different periods at the three automakers, stretching back to 2012 in Suzuki's case.

Suzuki, Japan's fourth-largest automaker, said out of 12,819 cars sampled for fuel economy and emissions since June 2012, around half had been inspected improperly.

The company, however, said it did not find any significant problems with actual emissions and fuel economy performance and therefore planned no recalls. Officials at Suzuki said insufficient training and the absence of supervision by senior workers led to the lax inspections.

Suzuki admitted improper inspections on 6,401 vehicles, or almost half of those subject to sample checking, between 2012 and 2018.


Suzuki added that the inspections were mishandled at factories where discipline was generally lacking.

Mazda released a statement explaining that "Test data containing speed trace errors was found in 72 cases out of 1472 vehicles tested under the JC08 mode".

Yamaha also confirmed it carried out inappropriate testing and apologized.

"It is extremely regrettable".

Results at Japanese affiliates of three foreign automakers - Audi AG, Volkswagen AG and Volvo Cars - were pending, while no irregularities were reported by the remaining 17 companies, the ministry said.

The quality-control data falsifications have embroiled Kobe Steel Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corp.

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