Scandal-hit Daihatsu execs to step down

Scandal-hit Daihatsu execs to step down

Executive from parent Toyota to take charge as subsidiary seeks to restore trust

Masahiro Inoue, the incoming president of Daihatsu Motor Co, addresses a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday. (Photo: Reuters)
Masahiro Inoue, the incoming president of Daihatsu Motor Co, addresses a news conference in Tokyo on Tuesday. (Photo: Reuters)

TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp said on Tuesday both the president and chairman of its small-car unit Daihatsu Motor would step down following revelations of misconduct related to rigged collision safety tests.

Masahiro Inoue, Toyota’s CEO for Latin America and the Caribbean, will replace Soichiro Okudaira as Daihatsu’s president from March 1, the world’s top-selling automaker said in a statement.

Okudaira had a long career at Toyota spanning nearly four decades from 1979 before he became president of Daihatsu in 2017, a year after the compact car maker became a wholly owned Toyota subsidiary.

Daihatsu chairman Sunao Matsubayashi will also step down and will not be replaced, Toyota said.

Given the misconduct over the safety test certification applications, Daihatsu also will be removed from a commercial vehicle partnership known as the Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies (CJPT), the automaker said in a separate statement.

Daihatsu’s 10% equity stake in the partnership will be transferred to Toyota, the statement said.

Daihatsu admitted in November last year that it had been manipulating safety tests since at least 1989, affecting 64 models, including some sold under the Toyota brand.

In April last year it said it had been falsifying crash-test results for four of its models, involving a total of 88,000 vehicles made in Thailand and Malaysia in 2022 and 2023.

In May it announced it was halting production in Japan of two hybrid vehicle models because of similar “irregularities”, including the Toyota Raize SUV, manufactured on behalf of its parent company.

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