Japanese officials announced Thursday that Suzuki Motor Corp., Mazda Motor Corp., and Yamaha Motor Co. have admitted to using falsified emissions data in vehicle inspections, according to multiple reports. The ministry looked at tests conducted over different periods at all three automakers.
The report is the latest episode in a growing list of data falsifications in Japan that has tarnished the image of the country's manufacturing industry, known for high-quality, efficient production.
Mazda's inquiry, while acknowledging 72 cases out of 1,472 vehicles examined were handled inappropriately, says its investigation found "no improper adjustment or falsification of test data".
Suzuki, Mazda and Yamaha said they would take preventive steps, such as changing inspection devices so their staff can not rewrite the data.
At a press conference, Suzuki President Toshihiro Suzuki said, "It is a significant fact that such a large number of our products were improperly processed, and we take it seriously", he said.
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According to the report, Suzuki found 6,401 out of 12,819 units were tested improperly since 2012.
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.
Yamaha also confirmed it carried out inappropriate testing and apologized.
At Mazda, of 1,875 cars subject to the sampling inspection, improper inspections were discovered in almost 4 percent since November 2014. 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.
Following the emergence of the news, stock prices in Mazda and Suzuki fell by up to 5 per cent.
None of the automakers reportedly found problems in their vehicles' correct emissions and fuel economy performance that warranted a recall.