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UPDATE: Deliveries resume for Toyota Yaris Cross

Another certification standard issue for Toyota, this time pausing Yaris Cross sales, shipments

10 Jun 2024

TOYOTA Australia has resumed customer deliveries of the Yaris Cross SUV with confirmation that the vehicles produced for Australia are fully compliant with certification requirements. 
In a statement the car-maker said it had "determined that a temporary pause in deliveries was the responsible and appropriate action to take while the vehicle’s status was investigated”. 
The Yaris Cross was affected by an investigation into fraudulent safety certification data when Japanese authorities placed a halt on exports of several Toyota models after it was found that they did not comply with government standards.  
During a press conference, Toyota chair Akio Toyoda said Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism was informed of the matter on May 31.  
It is understood that inadequate data relating to pedestrian and occupant protection tests were discovered for Yaris Cross, Corolla Axio and Corolla Fielder models. 
Anomalies were also found in the data provided for crash tests of now-discontinued models including the Crown Sedan, Isis, Sienta, and Lexus RX.  
In the case of the Yaris Cross, it is believed a regulation change was ignored by Toyota relating to a test conducted to evaluate the damage caused to the rear seats by luggage in the cargo compartment. It is understood old data was used in the certification application.  
“We take matters of this nature very seriously and will continue to be transparent with our customers,” said Toyota Australia. 
“We are pleased to report that those investigations have confirmed the correct process was adopted in tests conducted for the Australian-specification Yaris Cross. As previously stated, there are no safety or performance issues with Yaris Cross.” 
“We apologise to customers for any inconvenience and thank them for their patience and understanding.” 
Crown and Isis models were understood to have used development test data for airbag timer certification, while Corolla models once again used development test data to evaluation the damage to a pedestrian’s head in the event of a collision. 
Additionally, the Corolla and Sienta were flagged for incorrect test data relating to pedestrian head and leg injuries, while the Crown and Sienta used an incorrect moving barrier when testing rear-end collision data. 
Finally, in the case of the Lexus RX, it was found that a check engine power test which was meant to reach a defined limit was adjusted to obtain certification. 
Speaking with Australian motoring media this week, Toyota Australia vice president of sales, marketing, and franchise operations Sean Hanley said the stop sale notice had been issued out of an abundance of caution. 
“No other vehicles that we are aware of are affected by this regulatory announcement that was made in Japan,” he said. 
“The Yaris Cross is the only vehicle (and) we are still very much in the process of investigating the circumstances around that. 
“We have stopped sale because we take regulatory announcements very seriously – and because it forms part of our full disclosure and declaration to our customers and the market.” 
While Mr Hanley was unable to provide timing for when the stop sale order will be lifted, he said it was expected the issue would be resolved within a matter of weeks. 
“We expect that over the next week or two we will be able to make further announcements around that vehicle (Yaris Cross). However, it is still a work in progress,” he added. 
“However, we believe the vehicles that are in the market and being driven right now are safe. If they weren’t we would certainly take further action. 
“Based on the knowledge we have we believe they are safe – but because of the seriousness of the disclosure we took the appropriate action to stop sale until we completely understand the situation.” 
The Yaris Cross is the latest Toyota group vehicle to come under scrutiny for the falsification of safety testing. 
Daihatsu production was shut down earlier this year after a similar issue was found in the side collision tests of an astounding 64 models and extending back three decades. 
In February, Toyota was embroiled in an emissions testing scandal relating to diesel-powered models including the Alphard, Coaster, Dyna, HiAce, HiLux, LandCruiser 70 Series, LandCruiser 300 Series, Hino Dutro, and Lexus LX. 

In 2022, Toyota subsidiary Hino was expelled from the Commercial Partnership Technologies Corporation (Japan) after it was found to have cheated emissions testing protocols on a wide range of Hino trucks.

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