A new report has revealed a major affiliate of Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp has falsified emissions data on some engines going back almost 20 years.
A company-commissioned probe showed Hino Motors, which manufactures trucks and buses sold around the globe, had reported false data for years on end.
The truck-maker said that an engine data falsification scandal had started as far back as 2003 and not in 2016 as previously admitted.
Representatives at Hino Motors Ltd said the scandal was brought on by an “environment where engineers did not feel able to challenge superiors”.
The announcement comes as a rare criticism of corporate culture in Japan.
The committee was set up by Hino earlier this year after it admitted to falsifying data related to emissions and fuel performance of four engines on its production line.
The findings, led by committee chairman Kazuo Sakakibara, claim employees were not offered “psychological safety” and were “unable to change” due to the company’s past successes.
“The magnitude of their past successes has made them unable to change or look at themselves objectively, and they have been unaware of changes in the external environment and values,” he told a briefing.
“The organization has become an ill-organized one where people are unable to say what they cannot do.”
Hino’s president Satoshi Ogiso, apologized to reporters, claiming the company’s management took its responsibilities and public image seriously.
Mr Ogiso said he received a message from Toyota president Akio Toyoda, who reeled at the scandal, accusing Hino of betrayed the trust of company stakeholders.
Hino has recalled nearly 47,000 vehicles made between April 2017 and March this year, confirming an additional 20,900 would be recalled in the near future.
Japan’s transportation ministry confirmed it would conduct an on-site investigation of the company.
Committee member Makoto Shimamoto said there were “no monitoring functions” on the units in question and admitted controls should have been in place to detect and report issues.
“Misconducts have been passed down within the unit, but there were no monitoring functions in other units, which is a major issue,” he said via Reuters. ”Even if there was no personnel movement within the organisation, these issues should have been found.”
Hino’s share price dropped nearly 10 per cent on Tuesday after the findings were made public.