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Daihatsu Motor Resumes Production at Kyoto Plant Following Safety Test Scandal

Move marks a significant step in the company's recovery efforts, with more plants set to reopen
Japan
t 7203.TSE Blue Chip 150
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Daihatsu Motor Company Ltd, a Toyota subsidiary, has restarted operations at its Kyoto plant, approximately one and a half months after halting production across all its Japanese factories due to a scandal involving falsified automobile safety certification tests. The controversy, which surfaced in December last year, centered on manipulated safety crash test data, prompting an immediate shutdown for investigations by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).

In a dramatic turn of events, the MLIT canceled plans to halt production of five Daihatsu models, including vehicles supplied to Toyota and Mazda, after a thorough re-examination confirmed their compliance with Japan’s Road Transport Vehicle Act standards. This decision paved the way for lifting the ban on shipments of the affected models.

The resumption of production at the Kyoto facility was reported by the Japanese media outlet Yomiuri Shimbun, noting that the plant’s 1,700 workers, including night shift staff, are expected to return to their roles. The move has been met with a sense of resolve among employees, many of whom expressed a keen desire to rebuild trust and start afresh.

Keita Ide, Daihatsu Motor’s Corporate Management Division General Manager, echoed this sentiment in a recent interview, emphasizing the company’s commitment to regaining consumer confidence through diligent efforts. Daihatsu has also outlined plans to restart operations at its Ryume and Oita plants later this month, while production at the Shiga Plant and the main plant for the “Copen” light vehicle will remain suspended until March 1. This phased reopening strategy signifies Daihatsu’s cautious yet optimistic approach toward full operational recovery and trust restoration.

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