Toyota Subsidiary Hino Motors Investigation Reveals False Emissions Data as Far Back as 2003: Report

The automaker promises wide-sweeping changes, though it's not clear what further consequences are coming just yet

(Images: Hino Motors)
  • A “Special Investigation Committee” revealed falsified emissions data stemming back to 2003, according to a report released this week.
  • President Satoshi Ogiso apologized to customers and shareholders for the widespread “misconduct” at a press conference.
  • Hino comprised the committee of outside experts after it acknowledged misconduct back in March.
  • Hino Motors was acquired by Toyota in 2001, and the Japanese automaker currently holds a 50.1% stake in Hino.

Hino Motors released a 17-page report outlining long-term efforts to falsify data for its heavy-duty engines.

Toyota subsidiary Hino Motors falsified emissions data as far back as 2003, according to the results of a months-long probe. The company commissioned an investigative committee of outside experts to uncover the scope of emissions reporting misconduct on March 11, 2022. On August 2, the published report blames a failure within Hino’s management, an “inward-looking and conservative culture” and over pressured rank and file employees for the deception.

“I am so deeply sorry,” said Hino President Satoshi Ogiso at a recent press conference. “Unfortunately, misconduct had been carried out for a widespread variety of models.”

Specifically, the Hino’s non-conformity centers around six variants of its heavy-duty engines, used in both on-road and off-road applications. Per the report, company employees falsified durability tests with regard to emissions. The misconduct includes measuring emissions values at different points than those stipulated by laws and regulations, prematurely stopping durability teases to yield favorable data, altering test data and failing to perform regeneration tests as required by regulations, to name a few examples.

The investigation committee noted emissions reporting misconduct from 2005 onward, when new regulation emissions came into force. To gain “tax preferential treatment” for its heavy-duty engines, employees falsified calibration values and continued development on the basis that it had complied with those regulations, when Hino actually failed to do so. That practice continued after new emissions standards were introduced in 2009 and 2016.

toyota hino semi truck electric fuel cell usa north america
In collaboration with Toyota, Hino is developing hydrogen fuel cell trucks like the one shown above.

The automaker promises change and transparency moving forward

While the full scope of the fallout from these revelations is unclear, Ogiso promised to reform Hino’s company culture to prevent recurrence of falsifying emissions data. Whether Ogiso and other Hino executives will step down as a result of the scandal is also unclear, pending further review following this report.

As for Hino’s parent company, Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda said, as reported by the Associated Press, “The wrongdoing at Hino betrayed the trust of customers and other stakeholders. I deeply regret what has happened.”

To date, Hino recalled 67,000 vehicles in Japan, though vehicles affected by the issue could total nearly 300,000. Hino produces some vehicles sold under the Toyota brand, and also builds trucks for sale in North America. Its A09C engine, housed in the Class 6/7 L Series and the Class 7/8 XL Series, is sold in the United States. Hino said it is cooperating with U.S. and European regulators as it faces regulatory scrutiny in those markets.

While this is the latest revelation of emissions cheating, Hino is far from the first Japanese automaker to admit such misconduct. Mazda, Nissan, Suzuki, Subaru and Yamaha admitted in 2018 to falsifying their emissions data. An investigation into Mitsubishi Motors also found falsified fuel economy data stretching back 25 years.

You can view the full report at this link.

The furor extends to American automakers as well, as companies like FCA faced intense scrutiny over its first-gen EcoDiesel engines: