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August 23, 2022

Hino To Suspend Dutro Sales Due To Falsified Emissions

Toyota-owned Hino Motors said it will suspend all shipments of small trucks after confirming that a widespread data falsification scandal included those models.

Hino’s President Satoshi Ogiso said during a Monday news conference that during a Japan transport ministry investigation, additional misconduct regarding emissions was found to affect more than 76,000 vehicles.

The scandal, which came to light in March, was previously not believed to have impacted the smaller trucks, which have been sold since 2019.

“As the parent company as well as a shareholder of Hino Motors Ltd., we are extremely disappointed that Hino has once again betrayed the expectations and trust of its stakeholders with the revelation of a new round of wrongdoings. Having continued a number of wrongdoings in the area of engine certification, Hino is now in a situation where it is questioned whether the company will be trusted by its stakeholders. Based on this recognition, we will closely watch whether Hino can be reborn as a company worthy of the trust of its stakeholders,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in a statement.

Toyota owns 50.1 percent of Hino.

Hino said in a statement that some 76,694 vehicles of its Dutro small truck model were impacted, bringing the total number of vehicles involved in the scandal to more than 640,000.

The automaker said even though the engine for the small trucks was supposed to be tested at least two times at each measurement point, it only tested once at each site.

As part of Hino’s corrective action, they will suspend shipments of their 2-ton Hino Dutro (aka Toyota Dyna / Toyoace) equipped with the N04C 4-liter diesel engine fitted with the HC-SCR system. This will affect 60 percent of their annual production.

Ogiso said the vehicle maker was checking the impact to earnings from the additional misconduct, adding that it had not found instances of vehicles exceeding emissions limits and the misconduct was due to lack of understanding of regulations.

“As an automobile manufacturer, it is absolutely necessary for us to have a thorough understanding of the rules and regulations in order to release vehicles,” Ogiso said. “I have explained that (the misconduct) was unintentional, but I have no intention of saying that because it was unintentional, it is OK.”

He also said it was “indefensible” that the additional falsification was unearthed by the transport ministry, not the company nor its special investigation committee set up to investigate the whole issue.

A company-commissioned panel said in a report this month Hino had falsified emissions data on some engines going back to at least 2003, or more than a decade earlier than previously indicated.

Hino blamed an inward-looking corporate culture and a management failure to engage sufficiently with workers that led to an environment that put greater priority on achieving schedules and numerical targets than following processes.

The vehicle maker also falsely reported to the transport ministry there were no improper incidents in emissions and fuel efficiency tests at the time of receiving certification in 2016.

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