Toyota today announced that it has stopped the sales of the Toyota Yaris Ativ (known as the Toyota Vios here in Malaysia) in Thailand pending a retest in Japan.
Despite this, the same model will continue to be sold in Malaysia, where 539 cars have already been delivered. Details in a timeline of events released by Toyota reveals why this is the case.
The following is the chronology of events:
- A whistleblower alerted management to an irregularity with the side crash tests necessary for R95 certification. A notch in the door of the tested car was not in the production car. Upon discovering this, shipments to countries where the R95 was required was suspended.
- Daihatsu (the party in charge of testing) consulted inspection and certification authorities.
- A first retest was conducted internally. The car passed the test. It was decided that no recall to replace production car parts was necessary since the car passed the test without the notch.
- A second retest was conducted on April 28 in the presence of the testing agency. The car passed the test again, and this was verified with the testing agency.
- A third retest has to be done specifically to satisfy witness testing requirements for the Thailand market, but has yet to be executed.
So from what we understand, currently Toyota and Daihatsu are pending the third retest under certain conditions to fulfil a particular legal requirement in Thailand, which is why Thai sales are suspended. Sales in Malaysia can proceed because our country does not have this particular requirement and the affected car has already passed a retest twice, including with the testing agency present.
Toyota and Daihatsu are still investigating how this happened. There’s no firm conclusion yet, but Toyota’s CEO for the Asia region Masahiko Maeda told Reuters the problem may have occurred due to to the vehicle’s relatively large size, which may have put pressure on the development team.
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