The Toyota-led Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation (CJPT), which is pursuing the development of commercial hydrogen fuel cell vehicles among other goals, has expelled Hino Motors (a subsidiary of Toyota) from the organization. The move follows further evidence coming to light surrounding Hino’s misconduct concerning engine certification testing.
Concerns about the company’s misconduct during engine certification testing first surfaced in March 2022, when an internal report identified irregularities in the emissions testing of US market engines, which had been ongoing since at least 2003. The company has since been subject to on-site inspection by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), which has revealed additional misconduct concerning emissions durability tests. Furthermore, a class action lawsuit against the company has been filed in the USA.
The MLIT investigation revealed that in filing an application for emissions certification, Hino was required to measure emissions at least twice at the respective measurement points during durability tests but failed to reach the required number of measurements at some measurement points. Furthermore, Hino was required to calculate deterioration factors using the measurement data obtained but calculated them based on the measurement data obtained by measuring emissions only once at the respective measurement points.
Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota), suggested that the misconduct committed by Hino is incompatible with CJPT’s aspirations and goals and that the continued inclusion of Hino in activities will not gain the understanding of its customers and the public. With this suggestion taken into consideration, the decision was made after discussion within CJPT.
Specifically, Hino will be excluded from all agreements, including the joint planning agreement, and Hino’s equity stake (10%) in CJPT will be transferred to Toyota. In the projects that CJPT is currently working on, such as the previously announced social implementation in Fukushima and Tokyo, Hino will play a minimal role to not cause inconvenience to CJPT’s customers.
Toyoda commented, “As the parent company and a shareholder of Hino, we are extremely disappointed with the company’s misconduct in relation to the certification testing, which has greatly undermined the trust of our customers and all other stakeholders. Hino has committed misconduct in engine certification for a long period of time, and the company is in a situation where it is not to be recognized as one of the five and a half million individuals in the Japanese automotive industry.
“CJPT is a project to build the future together, based on Japan’s CASE technology. As of now, we believe that Hino’s participation will cause inconvenience to stakeholders, and we have decided that it is appropriate to expel Hino from CJPT. This conclusion was reached after discussions with the companies involved. We will continue to work with our partners on the project to solve the issues facing the transportation industry and contribute to achieving a carbon neutral society.”
For its part, Hino issued the following statement, taking full responsibility for its actions: “Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation has announced today its decision to expel Hino Motors, Ltd. (Hino) in light of Hino’s misconduct concerning certification testing. We take this decision very seriously.
“Throughout our history, we have made a variety of efforts under our motto to help find solutions to social issues. However, considering the fact that the misconduct in relation to certification testing has been long-term and widespread, we can only say that we have not even reached our starting point in solving these issues.
“We first will acknowledge and reflect deeply upon the seriousness of the misconduct we have committed and its root causes, and correct what we should correct. We need to return to our origins as a commercial vehicle manufacturer that helps people and goods get where they need to go, and behave resolutely to become reborn as a company that is once again needed by society.”