Mazda, Suzuki cheated on mileage and emissions tests: Nikkei

Irving Hamilton
August 9, 2018

Mazda Motor Corp, Suzuki Motor Corp and Yamaha Motor Co improperly tested vehicles for fuel economy and emissions, the Japanese government said on Thursday, in the latest cases of data falsifications by the nation's manufacturers. 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 ministry looked at tests conducted over different periods at all three automakers.

"Mishandlings found in so many vehicles were a serious problem, and we take it very seriously", Suzuki Motor president Toshihiro Suzuki told a news conference.

In July, Nissan admitted data on exhaust emissions and fuel economy had been "altered" for some of its vehicles, and past year the firm was forced to recall more than a million vehicles after admitting staff without proper authorisation had carried out some inspections.

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Suzuki, Japan's fourth-largest automaker, said that of 12,819 sample cars tested for fuel economy and emissions since June, 2012, around 50 percent had been inspected improperly. Officials at Suzuki said insufficient training and the absence of supervision by senior workers led to the lax inspections. Yamaha shares were down 4 percent. He said managers familiar with inspections were not staffed at the factories where discipline was lacking. Yamaha Motor confirmed it carried out inappropriate testing. The transport ministry will change its ministerial ordinance to request automakers save test results of manufactured vehicles and take measures to prevent adjustment of results.

"This is extremely regrettable as this may cause doubts among automobile users about vehicle performance and the quality-control structures of automakers", Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii said in a statement.

Kobe Steel, Mitsubishi Materials Corp and Toray Industries - all key suppliers of motor parts to global manufacturers - admitted to product data fabrication a year ago.

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