Toyota Kirloskar suspends despatches of Innova Crysta, Fortuner and Hilux amid irregularities in diesel engine certification testing

Innova Crysta, Fortuner, Hilux account for almost a third of Toyota India’s sales.

By Ketan Thakkar calendar 29 Jan 2024 Views icon17054 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Toyota Kirloskar suspends despatches of Innova Crysta, Fortuner and Hilux amid irregularities in diesel engine certification testing

Toyota Kirloskar Motor will be temporarily suspending despatches of the Innova Crysta, Fortuner and Hilux utility vehicles in India, amid the discovery of irregularities in horsepower output certification test on the diesel engines in these models.

Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) had commissioned Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) to develop its diesel engines. On Monday, TICO reported to Toyota that a special investigation committee set up to look into the potential certification irregularities stated that irregularities had occurred during the horsepower output certification testing for three diesel engines that Toyota had commissioned to TICO.

In a global statement, Toyota Motor Corporation said that during certification testing, the horsepower output performance of engines was measured using electronic control units (ECU) with software that differed from that used for mass production, so that results could be measured to make values appear smoother with less variation. Ten models use the affected engines globally, including six in Japan. The three models – the Innova CrystaFortuner and Hilux – account for almost a third of Toyota Kirloskar’s total sales in India.

To Autocar Professional’s query, a Toyota Kirloskar spokesperson explained that the irregularities concern the ‘smoothing’ of power and torque curves, but did not lead to any over-stating or over-claims on horsepower, torque or other powertrain-related values. “Moreover, this does not have any impact on the emissions or safety of the affected vehicles,” assured the Toyota Kirloskar spokesperson.  

Thus, while despatches have been suspended, the company will continue to produce and take orders for the said vehicles, and it will ensure transparent communication on power curves to buyers who are awaiting deliveries of their Innova, Fortuner or Hilux.

“As such, in the case of Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd (TKM), the despatch of affected vehicles will be temporarily suspended. However, new order taking will continue. For cars that have already been despatched but have not yet been delivered to the customer, we will carefully explain to our customers about this condition. Thereafter, we will proceed with registration and delivery for customers who opt to receive their vehicles,” explained the spokesperson.

In its statement, Toyota Kirloskar Motor said, “Nevertheless, TKM sincerely apologises for any inconvenience and concern this irregularity may cause to our customers and other stakeholders."

Toyota Kirloskar said it is also working with relevant authorities to reconfirm the data used for the certification of the affected vehicles.

Toyota Motor Corporation also said that the company has reverified the mass-produced products manufactured at the plant and confirmed that the affected engines and vehicles meet engine performance output standards. “Therefore, there is no need to stop using the affected engines or vehicles. However, we deeply apologise to our customers who have been supporting affected vehicles and waiting for a long time, and also to all other stakeholders for the significant inconvenience and concern that this has caused,” added Toyota Motor Corp.

Based on the results of the investigation, its subsidiary TICO decided on Monday to temporarily suspend shipments of the affected engines. Going forward, Toyota said it will provide detailed explanations to authorities and proceed with appropriate measures, including conducting testing in the presence of witnesses, if appropriate.

“We consider the appropriate process of certification to be a major prerequisite for doing business as an automobile manufacturer. We recognise the gravity of the fact that the repeated certification irregularities at TICO, following those at Daihatsu, have shaken the very foundations of the company as an automobile manufacturer,” said the release.

The episode may lead to restructuring of the relevant business, which will require a change, claims Toyota “in the mindset of all individuals, from management to employees, as well as a drastic reform of corporate culture. Such tasks cannot be accomplished overnight. Hence, as the party responsible for transferring the diesel engine business, Toyota will continue to provide support toward the revitalisation of TICO's engine business.”

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