Toyota plant to face industry inspection

Toyota plant to face industry inspection

Industry officials plan to inspect the Toyota factory in Chachoengsao this week to assure car buyers safety standards are followed by the giant Japanese automaker.

The move follows talks on May 9 between permanent secretary for industry Nattapol Rangsitpol and Akio Toyoda, board chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation, regarding the safety test results for eco-car Yaris Ativ.

Eco-cars are small engine-powered cars that help drivers save energy.

Toyota submitted a "UN R95" test result, endorsed by a certified testing organisation, to the Industry Ministry to demonstrate the Yaris Ativ passed safety criteria and met specification conditions set by industry authorities.

UN R95 refers to the safety standard to protect the occupants in the event of a lateral collision.

In April last year, Toyota found a scratch on a Yaris Ativ's door on the driver's side before the car underwent the UN R95 test. Though the issue had nothing to do with the testing, the company said it needed to clarify what happened.

Toyota said it is sorry for the incident as it might affect Thai customers' confidence in the safety of the Yaris Ativ, said Mr Nattapol.

He applauded Toyota for identifying the irregularity and immediately notifying Thai consumers.

Toyota decided to send Yaris Ativ models assembled in Thailand for safety testing in Japan to ensure the car is safe for driving, said Mr Nattapol.

"We are checking the UN R95 test result sent by Toyota," he said.

"We also told officials to inspect auto parts used to make the door on the driver's side and other related parts at the company's factory by this week to boost consumer confidence."

Toyota operates a car assembly plant at the Gateway City Industrial Estate in Chachoengsao.

Mr Toyoda said the company admitted the mistake, but stressed it strictly followed safety standard criteria before delivering cars to customers.

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