• Kyodo

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Toyo Tire & Rubber Co.’s chairman of the board and company president will resign to take responsibility for data falsification that led to the installation of defective earthquake shock absorbers in 154 buildings.

Chairman Akira Nobuki, 60, will resign July 1, while President Takuji Yamamoto, 58, will resign after an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting as soon as this autumn after dealing with immediate problems, the company said Tuesday.

Executive Corporate Officer Tetsuya Kuze, 57, will be demoted to senior corporate officer without the right to represent the firm.

The product data falsification came to light in March when the government withdrew its certification for the earthquake shock absorbers because they did not meet government requirements.

Toyo Tire has since reported that shock absorber devices whose performance either failed to meet requirements or remain unknown are installed in 154 buildings, including hospitals and schools.

The resignations were announced a day after a team of outside lawyers investigating the matter, in its final report, traced the data falsification to Toyo Tire’s culture, and urged the company to thoroughly reform its organization.

At a news conference, Yamamoto apologized for the falsification.

“We seriously regret our easy business decisions that eventually resulted in a delay in our due responses,” including halting shipments of problematic products, he said.

Toyo Tire said it will consider whether to file criminal complaints against several employees who took part in falsifying the product data to win government certification.

The firm will also replace the defective earthquake shock absorbers while moving to install new leadership as soon as possible. An outsider could be named to serve as chairman or special adviser, the company said.

Nobuki has been asked to return 50 percent of what he was paid the past year, while Yamamoto and other board members will have their future remunerations cut by up to 50 percent.

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