Toyota Unveils Findings on Model Certification Investigations

Toyota Unveils Findings on Model Certification Investigations – Toyota Motor Corporation has released the results of its recent investigation into model certification applications, revealing discrepancies in testing methods for several models produced since 2014.

This announcement comes as a response to instructions from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).

Six Cases Identified: The investigation uncovered six instances where testing methods did not align with national standards. These cases involve seven models, including some discontinued ones.

Immediate Actions: Toyota has temporarily halted the shipment and sales of three current models—Corolla Fielder, Corolla Axio, and Yaris Cross—effective June 3, 2024, to address these issues.

Certification Processes Explained

Certification is crucial for ensuring the safety and reliability of vehicles. There are three main methods for conducting certification tests:

Witness Testing: An examiner from a designated technical service observes the test.

In-House Testing: The automaker conducts the test and submits the data.

Development Test Data: Data from compatible development tests are submitted for certification.

Detailed Case Analysis

Case 1: During the partial redesign of the Crown and Isis in 2014-2015, airbag timer ignition development test data were used instead of certification data, despite the more severe test conditions.

Case 2: In 2015, during the development of the Corolla, pedestrian head injury tests were conducted under more severe conditions than regulations stipulate, using a 65-degree impact angle instead of the required 50 degrees.

Case 3: For the Corolla, Sienta, and Crown, data from the opposite measuring points were used, rather than the required specific points.

Case 4: In 2014 and 2015, the Crown and Sienta used heavier barriers for rear-end collision tests, exceeding the regulatory standard, which should have been retested with the correct weight.

Case 5: In 2020, Yaris Cross development tests used outdated luggage blocks, contrary to new regulations requiring updated blocks.

Case 6: The 2015 Lexus RX engine test data was altered to meet power targets after initial tests failed due to a muffler collapse, differing from the first five cases.

Toyota’s Response and Next Steps

Toyota is working closely with MLIT to correct these issues swiftly. They have reviewed tens of thousands of test results and will continue to investigate. The company certifies approximately 50 models annually, submitting around 7,000 reports over a decade.

By addressing these discrepancies and reinforcing testing protocols, Toyota aims to restore confidence and ensure the highest standards of vehicle safety and performance.