Toyota-owned heavy vehicle manufacturer Hino has admitted to misconduct concerning engine certifications going back to 2003, with improved data-handling practices and test software among the promised fixes.
Hino admitted to misconduct in March 2022 and yesterday published a report [PDF] detailing its subsequent investigation.
The report suggests Hino’s sins aren’t directly comparable to Volkswagen’s “Dieselgate” scandal – in which the German automaker intentionally wrote software to report false values for engine emissions.
But the Toyota subsidiary did alter and fabricate data about emissions and engine performance.
The document also admits to diverting data “as if it was measured at the specified measurement points, despite results having been measured at the non-specified measurement points specified under laws and regulations.”
Those deceptions were possible because chains of custody for test data were not strong so detecting the fabricated, faked or diverted data was not easy.
Remediation actions therefore include promises to:
Establish a system to preserve certification test records, which will secure traceability and access control;
Plan to automate the preservation of data by introducing external systems.
Hino has also pledged to “Strengthen … management of control software used in certification/durability tests from the perspective of laws and regulations.”
The company’s control software will therefore be linked to test results. Hino has also promised to track “‘running changes’ upon changes of control software.”
The report also outlines a raft of planned governance and cultural changes.
Hino therefore finds itself in a rogues gallery of automakers found to have faked data about their products’ performance, alongside Volkswagen, Nissan, Subaru, Mazda, and Suzuki.
VW forked out billions in fines after Dieselgate.
Hino has already recalled tens of thousands of trucks in Japan, and had certifications for some of its engines revoked. Lawsuits surely await. ®