Toyota’s Daihatsu will expand production halt over safety scandal – Nikkei

TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor unit Daihatsu will widen a production halt as a scandal over the rigging of safety tests affects more models beyond the six ones identified so far, the Nikkei newspaper said on Wednesday.

Daihatsu is expected to report findings by an independent panel that has been investigating the scandal to Japan’s transport ministry and hold a press conference as early as Wednesday, Nikkei said, without citing a source.

A spokesperson for Daihatsu, which became a wholly owned Toyota subsidiary in 2016, declined to comment on the Nikkei report. A transport ministry official said they had not been contacted by the automaker about reporting the investigation.

Daihatsu disclosed in April that it had rigged side-collision safety tests carried out for 88,000 small cars, most of which were sold under the Toyota brand.

Daihatsu said at that time it had discovered the wrongly conducted tests after a whistleblower report. It also said it had reported the issue to regulatory agencies and halted shipment of affected models.

A month later, Daihatsu said it had stopped sales of the Toyota Raize hybrid vehicle and its own Rocky model after also finding problems with testing for those two models.

A second spokesperson for Daihatsu said on Wednesday production of those two models was suspended, while shipments of the other four affected models remained halted.

(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)