Toyota has temporarily suspended the shipment of certain diesel-powered models, including the Hilux and Land Cruiser 300, the carmaker announced on its global website this week.
The suspension comes after an internal investigation found “irregularities” that took place during the certification testing related to engine outputs.
However although the South African built Hilux and Fortuner, fitted with the 2.8-litre GD1 engine, were mentioned in the global statement, Toyota South Africa (TSAM) has told IOL that local models are not affected.
“Toyota Industries Corporation, a company affiliated with Toyota Motor Corporation, announced on Monday, 29 January 2024, that irregularities in horsepower output certification tests applicable to certain countries were found on three Toyota engine models,” TSAM said in a statement.
“However, with the current information at hand, TSAM can confirm that this issue does not affect any models sold in South Africa. Should this change, we will notify our customers.
“As reference, this matter relates to irregularities in the certification process based on national requirements in certain countries but does not have any impact on horsepower, torque or other powertrain-related values. Additionally, these irregularities do not compromise the emissions or safety of the vehicles involved.”
During certification testing, the horsepower output performance of engines was measured 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.
Toyota’s global media statement said:
“We have re-verified the mass-produced products manufactured at the plant and confirmed that the affected engines and vehicles meet engine performance output standards.
“Therefore, there is no need to stop using the affected engines or vehicles. However, we deeply apologise to our customers who have been supporting affected vehicles and waiting for a long time, and also to all other stakeholders for the significant inconvenience and concern that this has caused.”
Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) said it would provide detailed explanations to authorities regarding the findings and proceed with measures to regain the trust of customers and other stakeholders.
“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,” Toyota said.
“Furthermore, as the commissioner of these tests, we regret that we were not sufficiently attentive and aware of the fact that the procedures were not carried out in accordance with laws and regulations.
“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.”