Photo/Illutration Akira Onishi, right, president of Toyota Industries Corp., and another executive apologize at a March 17 news conference in Nagoya. (Takeshi Narabe)

World leading forklift manufacturer Toyota Industries Corp. has been found to have fabricated results of parts testing, forcing some forklift shipments to be halted.

The fabrication marks the second member of the Toyota Motor Corp. group to be involved in a data reporting scandal since 2022. 

Officials of Toyota Industries admitted on March 17 that results of emissions tests on gasoline and diesel engines had been falsified.

The company has halted domestic shipments of three models of forklifts that use the engines in question.

At a March 17 news conference, company President Akira Onishi apologized and said the cause of falsification was “insufficient knowledge and experience about legal regulations.” But he said he would refrain from speculating about the motive until an internal special investigation was completed.

Onishi and Tetsuro Toyoda, the company chairman, will take responsibility and return six months’ remuneration.

During testing, rather than the actual measurement of emissions elements, an estimated value was used as the result in some cases. In others, engine parts were changed in the course of the test.

The two diesel engines tested had, in fact, emitted one element that exceeded legal standards due to the degradation of the engine.

In fiscal 2021, Toyota Industries sold a combined 16,500 forklifts of the three models, accounting for 95 percent of all the engine vehicles sold by the company.

The domestic sales of those forklifts accounted for half of the company’s total sales.

On a global basis, the company sells about 280,000 forklifts annually. The company was established in 1926 to manufacture and sell automatic looms invented by Sakichi Toyoda. The automaker later broke off and became independent.

In late 2020, U.S. officials inquired about test data, leading Toyota Industries officials to begin an investigation. The latest fabrication was uncovered after company officials expanded their investigation to domestic forklifts.

Hino Motors Ltd., another Toyota group company, was also found in 2022 to have falsified emissions test results, a practice that dated back nearly 20 years. 

Toyota released a statement on March 17 apologizing for the latest incident and pledged to provide support to the efforts to be made by Toyota Industries.

(This article was written by Eisuke Eguchi and Takeshi Narabe.)