Daihatsu has suspended shipments of all of its models both in Japan and overseas, and shut production at all four of its domestic plants. The action follows an independent third-party investigation into safety procedure irregularities in its vehicle production.
The shutdown of the plants in Shiga, Kyoto and Oita prefectures, as well as at its headquarters in Osaka, has hit Daihatsu suppliers down the tier structure, and the carmaker said it will be compensating all of those based in Japan for loss of sales. That applies to 423 direct component suppliers, around 4,000 indirect suppliers and an additional 1,000 companies that also do business with the automaker.
In a statement the carmaker, which is a subsidiary of Toyota Motor, said that irregularities found in 64 models and three engines. The models included both Daihatsu brand vehicles and models supplied as OEM models to Toyota, Mazda and Subaru. There were a total of 174 procedural irregularities identified, with the oldest going back as far as 1989. The investigation found that the number of irregularities had increased since 2014.
Daihatsu stated that tests on the airbags of several models shared between the carmakers revealed that the airbag deployment computer was not the same as that of mass-produced products. It said that technical verification revealed that there were no problems with the airbag’s occupant protection performance. However, during the verification, it was found that there was a possibility that occupant safety performance related to door unlocking on Daihatsu Cast/Toyota Pixis Joy in side collision tests that did not satisfy the regulations.
“At this time, we are not aware of any information on accidents related to this incident, but we are conducting… technical verification and investigating the cause, and will promptly take necessary actions,” said the company.
The carmaker said it will implement new procedures to prevent similar occurrences in the future, based on the recommendations of the independent committee.
Models affected by airbag investigation: Daihatsu Move/Subaru Stella; Daihatsu Cast/Toyota Pixis Joy; Daihatsu Gran Max/Toyota Town Ace/Mazda Bongo