Test data scandal: Officials launch probe at Suzuki, Toyota halts some lines

Government officials launched an on-site investigation of the Suzuki Motor headquarters in central Japan over falsified test data, while other car makers began production halts at several plants.

Three transport ministry officials arrived at the head office of Suzuki in Shizuoka Prefecture on Thursday, making it the third automotive manufacturer to be investigated.

The move follows revelations earlier this week that Suzuki and four other Japanese vehicle makers falsified performance test data to obtain the certification required for mass production.

Ministry officials are checking test-data records and interviewing executives as well as personnel in charge of the testing.

Suzuki has confirmed that it falsified brake test results in 2014 for one model of the Alto car which is no longer in production.

The transport ministry began investigations at Toyota headquarters earlier this week.

Toyota on Thursday suspended production at several plants until June 28.

The move will affect three models made at plants in Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, including its Yaris Cross.

130,000 units of these models were produced in Japan in the 2023 fiscal year, which ended in March.

In addition, Mazda suspended production of two affected models at plants in Hiroshima and Yamaguchi prefectures, including the Mazda2.

The fiscal 2023 output of those models in Japan was about 15,000 units.

Toyota and Mazda plan to continue operating production lines manufacturing other models.

But concern is rising about the impact the suspensions will have on the affected local economies and business partners.