An independent panel of experts has found widespread breaches of engine standards by Toyota Industries Corp (TICO), the world’s biggest forklift manufacturer revealed this week.
In March last year, TICO halted domestic shipments of forklift and construction equipment engines and issued a recall after three forklift engine models were found to be in breach of Japan’s emissions limits.
The company, which has a 30% share of the world forklift market, requested an independent investigation, which this week reported its findings to Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
The investigation, which initially focused on forklift and construction equipment engines, expanded to include diesel engines for automobiles.
The probe found nine models of forklift engines and two models of construction machinery engines had violated domestic emission laws, TICO said in a statement.
TICO says it has sold 230,000 forklifts fitted with the non-compliant engines in Japan since 2014.
The engines found to be in breach of the standards are:
- Current models of diesel forklift engine 1KD and 1ZS;
- Current models of gasoline forklift engine 4Y and 1FS;
- Old models of diesel forklift engine 1DZ, 3Z and 15Z; and
- Old models of gasoline forklift engine 4Y and 1FZ.
The independent panel also found the company had fabricated performance tests for diesel engines for severals models of Toyota passenger vehicles dating back to 2017.
“The company understands that this matter has caused a great deal of trouble for our customers, our sales agents, vendors, competent ministries and many other related persons, and the company again apologises for that,” TICO says.
In a separate statement, TICO affiliate Toyota Motor Corp said 10 vehicle models sold in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia, including Landcruiser, Innova, Hiace, Hilux and Fortuna, are using the affected engines.
TICO has halted shipments of the affected engines and Toyota Motors has ceased shipping cars, vans and SUVs with the affected engines.
"We feel deeply responsible for the misconduct, which persisted for a long time, and for failing to discover and rectify it," Toyota Industries President Koichi Ito said at a press conference, according to a Kyodo News report.
"We will do our utmost to rebuild the company with legal compliance as our top priority."
The Japan Times reports the country's transport department is considering penalising TICO for the fraudulent engine tests, including revoking the certification required to mass-produce vehicles.
The department will conduct its own investigation into the matter.