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Hino is in big, big trouble

 

Hino Motors will suspend shipments from Japan of around 60-percent of its truck range until further notice. Apparently, Australia-bound Hino 4×4 models aren’t affected.

 

 

On August 22nd, 2022, after confirming that a widespread data falsification scandal included more models than originally stated, the Toyota Motor Corporation-owned Hino said that the falsification scandal could involve some 640,000 trucks.

That may lead to fines from governments in Hino’s export markets and class actions from owners and environmentalists. Toyota owns 50.1 percent of Hino.

Those ramifications led to an unprecedented departure from traditional Japanese corporate politeness, when Toyota President Akio Toyoda bluntly said in response:

“As the parent company, as well as a shareholder of Hino Motors Ltd, we are extremely disappointed that Hino has once again betrayed the expectations and trust of its stakeholders with the revelation of a new round of wrongdoings.

“Having continued a number of wrongdoings in the area of engine certification, Hino is now in a situation where it is questioned whether the company will be trusted by its stakeholders.

“Based on this recognition, we will closely watch whether Hino can be reborn as a company worthy of the trust of its stakeholders.”

In all our years of reporting on global corporate affairs, we’ve never heard a Japanese senior manger – let alone the President of one of world’s largest motor manufacturers – pay out on a subsidiary to that extent.

At OTA we reckon the seppuku kits will be handed out FOC at Hino Japan!

Hino Australia issued a statement after the March 2022 revelations, but has yet to react the August 22 bombshell.

Of course, Australia’s slack emissions laws mean that Hinos sold here are probably compliant with our emissions rules that are  seven years behind those in most OED countries.

Trouble and more trouble

 

The Hino emissions saga began back in March 2022, but was previously not believed to have impacted Hino’s smaller trucks. Hino Motors has admitted to falsifying engine emissions data on some engines since 2003 – that’s 19 years!

Hino acknowledged in March that it had systematically faked data on government mandated tests for compliance with emissions laws and fuel consumption claims. 

In response, a group of outside experts was set up to investigate. In a 17-page report, it blamed an ‘inward-looking and conservative culture’ at the company that led to a lack of involvement and solidarity among the employees.

The experts said that the company’s leadership failed to engage with frontline workers, putting numerical goals and deadlines first and sacrificing operating procedures.

Following this report, Hino Motors admitted it had falsified engine performance data for one of its engines and cheated fuel economy results in two heavy duty engines. 

It immediately suspended the sale of five truck and bus models in Japan. 

However, that was not to be the end of Hino’s woes. In August 2022, news broke that there was falsified engine test data across a much wider range of Hino models.

Hino President Satoshi Ogiso called a news conference at which he said:

“I am so deeply sorry. 

“Unfortunately, misconduct has been carried out for a widespread variety of models.

“Teams that were developing engines knew they couldn’t meet targets and felt so pressured they falsified test results.

“I am determined to see that we are reborn and we carry that out in clear action,” said Ogiso.

It’s a safe bet that he won’t be spearheading the repair operation.

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