Japanese automakers Suzuki, Mazda and Yamaha admit false emissions data

Suzuki Motor CEO Toshihiro Suzuki bows with other executives during a news conference in Tokyo Japan

Mazda, Suzuki and Yamaha improperly tested vehicles for fuel economy and emissions, the Japanese government said on Thursday, revealing fresh cases of compliance failures by manufacturers.

The growing list of improprieties has tarnished the image of the country's manufacturing industry, known for high-quality, efficient production.

According to the report, Suzuki, Mazda and Yamaha cleared vehicles for emissions or fuel efficiency standards even in cases where they were tested improperly, the ministry said.

The conduct of automakers globally has come under intense scrutiny after Germany's Volkswagen AG admitted in 2015 to installing secret software in hundreds of thousands of US diesel cars to cheat exhaust emissions tests, and that as many as 11 million vehicles could have similar software installed worldwide.

Suzuki, Mazda and Yamaha are implicated, although with different levels of severity.

Suzuki, Japan's fourth-largest automaker, said out of 12,819 cars sampled for fuel economy and emissions since June 2012, around half had been inspected improperly.

"Mishandlings found in so many vehicles were a serious problem, that we take very seriously", Suzuki Motor President Toshihiro Suzuki said, according to Reuters, apologizing for the trouble caused to customers and business partners.

A total of 30 models, including those whose no longer being produced, were subject to the investigation. Suzuki said almost half of its 12,819 new auto inspections involved improper inspections at its three plants.

Mazda said it 72 vehicles or 3.8 percent of those in its sample were affected, while Yamaha put the figure at 2.1 percent of its motorbike sample.

Suzuki, Mazda and Yamaha said they would take preventive steps, such as changing inspection devices so their staff can not rewrite the data. This came after both Nissan and Subaru found that they'd falsified testing data. Yamaha Motor confirmed it carried out inappropriate testing.

"It is extremely regrettable". The transport ministry will change its ministerial ordinance to request automakers save test results of manufactured vehicles and take measures to prevent adjustment of results.

The quality-control data falsifications have embroiled Kobe Steel Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corp.

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