The investigation found that the Toyota unit falsified emissions data from at least 2003

Hino Motors Ltd. displays the new Hybrid Profia, a diesel-hybrid version of its large commercial truck model at its Hino Research and Development Center in Tokyo, Japan, July 17, 2018. REUTERS / Naomi Tajitsu / File Photo

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  • Commission publishes report on false data scandal in Hino
  • Engineers say they didn’t feel able to challenge bosses
  • Evidence data has been falsified since at least 2003

An investigation commissioned by the company showed that a major subsidiary of Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) falsified emissions data for some engines going back at least to 2003, more than a decade earlier than previously reported. Tuesday.

An inquiry commissioned by truck and bus maker Hino Motors Co., Ltd. (7205.T) has blamed the scandal on an environment in which engineers do not feel able to challenge their bosses, in a rare criticism of Japan’s corporate culture.

Hino formed the panel, made up of lawyers and a company consultant, this year after it admitted falsifying data on emissions and fuel performance for four engines. In a report, the commission said its findings, published on Tuesday, detail an inflexible atmosphere in which it was difficult for employees to feel “psychologically safe”.

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Committee Chairman Kazuo Sakakibara, who was the chief prosecutor at the Osaka District Public Prosecutor’s Office, said that a sense of past success on the part of management helped generate culture.

“The scale of their past successes made them unable to change or view themselves objectively, and they were not aware of changes in the environment and external values,” he said at a press briefing.

“The organization has become a poorly organized organization where people cannot say what they cannot do.”

Hino’s president, Satoshi Ogisu, apologized to reporters and said the management took its responsibilities seriously. He said he had received a letter from Toyota President, Akio Toyoda, in which he said the misconduct at Hino had betrayed the trust of all stakeholders.

Hino said it would come up with a new corporate governance system within three months.

“must be found”

The automaker said the commission found evidence of fraud extending back to at least October 2003, in contrast to the previously disclosed timeframe of around 2016.

The Transportation Department, which revoked the truck maker’s certification of the affected engines in March, said it would conduct an on-site investigation into the company. Read more

Hino recalled nearly 47,000 vehicles manufactured between April 2017 and March of this year, and Hino said an additional 20,900 vehicles would be recalled.

The commission found no evidence that executives outside the powertrain unit were aware of the misconduct.

Committee member Makoto Shimamoto said the department required a high level of expertise, which hampered personnel changes and allowed misconduct to continue.

“Irregularities were passed within the unit, but there were no monitoring jobs in other units, which is a major issue,” he said. “Even if there was no movement of people within the organization, these issues had to be found.”

Ogiso said the company put quality, compliance and talent development on hold as it sought to expand its reach and scale beginning around 2000.

As a result, digital goals, such as product development schedules and fuel efficiency, have been prioritized over operating according to appropriate processes.

Toyota owns 50.1% of Hino. Hino shares are down about 10% on Tuesday.

Hino has joined a string of Japanese automakers participating in improper emissions tests.

In 2018, the government said Mazda Motor Corp. (7261.T), Suzuki Motor Corp (7269.T) and Yamaha Motor Co Ltd (7272.T) had improperly tested vehicles for fuel economy and emissions.

Subaru Corp. (7270T) and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (7201T) had been tested for the same reason the previous year.

The accuracy of automakers’ emissions data was called into question in 2015 when Germany’s Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) admitted it had installed secret software in hundreds of thousands of US diesel cars to cheat emissions tests and that as many as 11 million vehicles could contain Similar programs all over the world.

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(Covering) by Satoshi Sugiyama (Additional reporting by Maki Shiraki) Editing by Christopher Cushing, David Dolan and Mark Potter

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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