[ UPDATE 1/5/2023 17:40 ] UMW Toyota Motor assures that the all-new Vios 2023 is safe and there are no recall or suspension of sales.
[ UPDATE 30/4/2023 22:50 ] Perodua CEO says the Perodua Axia 2023 is still safe, no recall or suspension of deliveries will be issued.
Daihatsu, a brand under Toyota, has admitted to rigging safety tests by adding extra modifications to its test vehicles. In a statement issued yesterday, Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd has confirmed wrongdoings in the approval application for side collision tests on four models. Affected vehicles include the latest Perodua Axia which was launched in Malaysia in February and the Toyota Vios 2023 which was launched locally last month.
The wrongdoings were discovered recently after the issue was reported internally in April. After completing investigations through interviews, vehicle inspection and going through the development history, the Japanese automaker has confirmed that the wrongdoings took place as reported.
Notch added to reduce risk of injury during airbag deployment
Investigations revealed that the inside lining of the front seat doors was improperly modified for the tests. As reported by Reuters, a “notch” was added to minimise the risk of an interior door trim breaking with a sharp edge and causing injury to an occupant when a side airbag is deployed in an accident. The added modifications were not included in the final production model and it is a violation of the side collision test procedures and methods stipulated by regulations.
A total of 88,123 units are affected worldwide which includes 76,289 units of the Toyota Yaris ATIV produced in Thailand and Malaysia, and 11,834 units of the locally-produced Perodua Axia. The Toyota Yaris ATIV is essentially the Toyota Vios and it shares the same Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) platform as the new Axia, Alza and Ativa.
The Toyota Agya meant for Ecuador which is to be produced in Indonesia in June 2023 is also affected. Another unspecified model is also affected but no details were provided due to product planning concerns.
In Malaysia, only the range-topping Perodua Axia AV (RM49,500) and both Toyota Vios 1.5E (RM89,600) and 1.5G (RM95,500) are equipped with 6 airbags including two for the sides and two more for curtains.
No action is required from affected vehicle owners
According to Daihatsu, they will strive to resume shipments of vehicles for which shipments will be suspended while waiting for guidance from the respective inspection and certification authorities. Shipment will resume once the safety of the vehicles is confirmed after running new safety tests in the presence of regulators. At the moment, there’s no action required for customers using these affected models.
Daihatsu’s parent company, Toyota, said that there have been no reports of any accident or injury related to the rigged side-crash test. Its Chairman, Akio Toyoda, has apologised for what he described as an “unacceptable” violation of consumer trust. “We deeply apologize for betraying the trust of our customers and other stakeholders and for causing great inconvenience and concern,” said Daihatsu in their official statement.
To address future concerns, Daihatsu said it has established an independent third-party committee to finalise the details of the matter, analyse the root cause and compile measures to prevent a similar recurrence. The automaker will provide updates after a report is issued by the third-party committee.
Perodua has yet to issue a statement on the matter. The latest Perodua Axia 2023 received a 4-star ASEAN NCAP rating with an overall score of 73.55 points during its test conducted in January 2023.
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