• Toyota submitted faulty data during pedestrian-safety tests for 3 current models, and used modified test vehicles during collision-safety tests for 4 past model
  • It was among five carmakers, including Honda and Mazda, found to have falsified or manipulated safety data while applying for certification

Japan suspended the delivery and sales of six vehicles currently on the road, including three manufactured by Toyota, escalating a safety scandal that’s embroiled some of the world’s top carmakers.

Toyota submitted faulty data during pedestrian-safety tests for three current models – the Corolla Fielder, Corolla Axio and Yaris Cross – and used modified test vehicles during collision-safety tests for four past models, including the Crown, the transport ministry said on Monday. It was among five carmakers, including Honda and Mazda, found to have falsified or manipulated safety data while applying for certification.

In total, the ministry identified 32 previously manufactured vehicles as being incorrectly certified. Officials will perform an on-site investigation of Toyota’s headquarters in Nagoya on Tuesday, the ministry said.

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Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda expressed regret over the scandal, bowing his head at a press conference in Tokyo on Monday, saying “we sincerely apologise”.

Toyota shares dropped as much as 2.4 per cent in Tokyo. Mazda shares fell more than 4 per cent, while Yamaha retreated as much as 2.1 per cent. Suzuki pared earlier gains.

The findings signal a deepening crisis of trust for Japan’s carmakers. Earlier this year, the transport ministry ordered almost 90 manufacturers to re-examine their testing procedures after decades of fraud were uncovered at a pair of Toyota affiliates.

In December, an internal probe of Daihatsu showed most of its vehicles had not been properly tested for collision safety. Toyota also suspended all engine shipments in January after an investigation revealed it had falsified power-output figures.

Of the 68 investigations already concluded, the ministry also found wrongdoings at four other manufacturers: Honda, Mazda, Yamaha and Suzuki. The ministry ordered the five carmakers to suspend shipments of all vehicles with faulty certifications.

The ministry’s investigation is ongoing and of the 17 companies still under investigation, Toyota is the only one where issues have been uncovered.