Toyota freezes diesel engine production over ‘irregular testing’
Vehicles implicated include the Hilux, Fortuner and Land Cruiser Prado, as well as the Land Cruiser 300.
The 1GD engine, better known as the 2.8 GD-6, has been named one of the engines implicated. Image: Toyota
Toyota has announced the suspension of production of three of its diesel engines after a special investigation found what it described as “potential irregularities of certification” with emissions regulations.
In a statement on Monday, the automaker said the inaccuracies were noted during power tests in which the outputs of the engines were calculated using “ECUs with software that differed from that used for mass production so that results could measure to make values appear smoother with less variation”.
“Based on the results of the investigation, Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) decided today to temporarily suspend shipments of the affected engines. Toyota has also decided to temporarily suspend shipments of vehicles equipped with the affected engines,” the statement read.
“Going forward, we will provide detailed explanations to the authorities and promptly proceed with appropriate measures, including conducting testing in the presence of witnesses if appropriate”.
Vehicles of attention
Engines and vehicles implicated include the outgoing Land Cruiser Prado, Hilux and Fortuner powered by the 2.8 1GD engine made between May and August 2020, the 2.4 2GD used in the Hilux, the F33A 3.3-litre V6 used in the Land Cruiser 300 and its upscale twin, the Lexus LX 500d, built after January 2022.
Bar the 2GD sold only in Japan, key export markets, including Africa, have been identified as regions where the affected engines had been shipped to, with the Prospecton Plant in Durban being named in the report.
Vehicle are safe to use
Despite declaring the vehicles safe to use from a reliability standpoint as they all “meet engine performance output standards”, Toyota said the suspension hasn’t been taken likely and that it “deeply apologises to our customers who have been supporting affected vehicles and waiting for a long time”.
“TICO has informed us that they will start by providing detailed explanations to authorities regarding these findings and proceed with measures under their guidance in the hopes of regaining the trust of customers and other stakeholders as a manufacturer worthy of certification,” the statement continued.
“In addition, restructuring the relevant business will require a change in the mindset of all individuals, from management to employees, as well as a drastic reform of corporate culture.
“Such tasks cannot be accomplished overnight. Hence, as the party responsible for transferring the diesel engine business, Toyota will continue to provide support toward the revitalisation of TICO’s engine business”.
It concluded by saying, “Going forward, we will be involved in all company-wide activities to help rebuild TICO and review the situation to thoroughly ensure that safety and quality are the top priorities”.
No word yet about South Africa
The latest scandal to hit the automaker comes after its small car brand, Daihatsu, announced earlier this month that it was extending production stoppages at four of its factories in Japan until 16 February over falsified crash test reports dating back to 1989.
A total of 64 models sold under the Daihatsu, Toyota and Subaru brands are said to been implicated, with the subsequent recall involving 322 700 vehicles.
For the time being, neither the recall nor the stoppage of diesel production has been commented on by Toyota South Africa, though don’t be surprised if an announcement is made within the next few days.
Additional reported by AFP