Suzuki Motor Corp. said Wednesday that the company has falsified preshipment vehicle inspection data, on top of earlier announced improper emissions checks.
When announcing the discovery of the improper emissions inspections in August, the company denied any data falsification.
According to the latest announcement, however, inspection data on emissions, fuel efficiency or thermometer readings were falsified for a total of 2,737 automobiles from three domestic plants between May 2009 and July this year.
The data falsification was carried out deliberately in some cases, but the firm has yet to confirm details of the irregularities, Suzuki Motor said.
At a news conference in Tokyo, the company’s president, Toshihiro Suzuki, offered an apology for the wrongdoing.
He denied an intention to resign, though, noting, “At the moment, I don’t think that misconduct was systematic.”
On Wednesday, the director-general of the transport ministry’s Road Transport Bureau instructed Suzuki Motor in writing to conduct a thorough investigation and submit a report as early as possible.
According to the company, two employees in charge of vehicle inspections altered data on carbon dioxide emissions to levels lower than the actual readings. Data were also falsified when temperature or humidity indicators displayed abnormal readings.
In August, Suzuki said that it failed to measure levels of harmful materials in emissions for 6,401 vehicles in random checks, but did not conduct rechecks, having concluded that the tests were valid.
After the company expanded its investigations, the number of affected vehicles increased to 6,883, with such improper inspections found for 31 of the 32 vehicle models covered by the probes.
In hearings that were part of an investigation, one inspector said, “There was little time for a recheck due to heavy workloads,” while another said, “A recheck would lead to a delay in vehicle deliveries, causing trouble to marketing staff,” according to the company.
The company said that improper inspections were found also for two motorcycles.