Toyota diesel engines cleared by authorities, shipping ban lifted after test cheating admission

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Three Toyota engines have been cleared by Japanese officials after the car giant admitted a month ago to modifying them for certification testing.

Three Toyota diesel engines – the certification testing of which Toyota publicly admitted to finding “inconsistencies” in, and modifications not included to customer vehicles – have been cleared by Japanese authorities, with a government order to halt shipping now lifted.

The Japanese transport ministry has confirmed the three Toyota engines at the centre of the story do comply with local regulations, including the 2.8-litre turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine fitted to the HiLux, Fortuner, HiAce, LandCruiser 70 Series, and LandCruiser Prado.

The announcement also applies to the 3.3-litre twin-turbo V6 diesel engine found in the LandCruiser 300 Series and Lexus LX four-wheel-drive.

The results, revealed in recent days by the Japanese Government, confirm an earlier claim from Toyota that the engines had been re-tested with no abnormal results.

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“We have been informed that there is no variation in the power, torque, or other powertrain-related values and there is no compromise to the emissions, safety or driveability of the vehicles,” a spokesperson for Toyota Australia told Drive in late January 2024.

While officials have now cleared the three passenger vehicle engines at the centre of the controversy, it now appears the fraudulent tests conducted within the Toyota subsidiary may have only applied to its industrial engines – with government certifications now having been cancelled for engines used in forklifts and construction machinery.

With operations set to recommence on 1 March 2024 at Toyota Industries – the business unit responsible for manufacturing some diesel engines used in Toyota vehicles – shipments of some of the company’s most popular models can begin again to Australia and other global markets.

Toyota’s Chairman Akio Toyoda and company CEO Koji Sato have both made public apologies following the admission, while Toyota Industries issued an apology to its customers, dealers, suppliers, and key stakeholders for its actions – with promises made to ensure the practice doesn’t occur again.

Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than two decades. Ben began writing professionally more than 15 years ago and was previously an interstate truck driver. He completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021 and is considered an expert on classic car investment.

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