Suzuki, Mazda, Yamaha improperly test emissions

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Improper preshipment vehicle inspections have been found at Suzuki Motor Corp., Mazda Motor Corp. and Yamaha Motor Co., the transport ministry said Thursday.

The three companies reported to the ministry that emission tests were conducted improperly on some of their automobiles or motorcycles.

The practice was discovered as a result of in-house investigations that were conducted by the three firms, as well as other vehicle makers, at the instruction of the ministry in the wake of the revelation of vehicle inspection fraud at Nissan Motor Co. in July.

Although Suzuki, Mazda and Yamaha failed to properly measure the amounts of harmful substances contained in exhaust gases in random vehicle inspections, they used invalid inspection results as valid ones without conducting retests, according to the ministry.

At Suzuki, inappropriate inspections were carried out for 6,401 of 12,819 units selected for the random checks at three plants in Shizuoka Prefecture between June 2012 and last month, the company said.

Suzuki revealed in 2016 that it had conducted fuel economy tests using an unauthorized method.

Offering an apology at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, Suzuki President Toshihiro Suzuki said: “It’s a critical problem as the improper inspections were conducted for such a large number of our vehicles. I’m taking the situation seriously.”

Inappropriate emission inspections were conducted for 72 vehicles between November 2014 and last month at Mazda and for seven units between January 2016 and last month at Yamaha, a major motorcycle maker.

At Suzuki’s plant in the Shizuoka city of Kosai, inappropriate emission inspections were conducted for more than 70 percent of randomly checked vehicles.

Suzuki denied data manipulation and said that the company will consider whether to punish people involved in the improper inspections, as well as executives, after scrutinizing more details.

At a separate press conference, Yamaha Executive Vice President Katsuaki Watanabe apologized to customers and business partners affected by the inappropriate inspections, and vowed to take all-out preventive measures.

Transport minister Keiichi Ishii said in a statement that the improper inspections are “very regrettable” as they could cause concerns over the performances of the affected vehicles and the makers’ product quality control systems.


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