Hino HQ in Japan has revealed it’s uncovered falsified emissions and fuel economy data said to affect at least 115,526 trucks sold since 2016.
A media statement from Hino Australia today there were no implications for the Australian market, although investigations are ongoing.
Hino in Japan said it had identified misconduct concerning the falsification of engine performance data in its emissions durability testing for the A05C (HC-SCR) medium duty engine, and in the measurement of fuel economy performance in certification tests for two heavy duty engine models, A09C and E13C.
Hino has also confirmed that those engines have problems in engine performance.
Accordingly, Hino has decided to suspend the sale of those three engine models and their corresponding vehicles in Japan.
In addition, Hino has identified a problem concerning the fuel economy performance of the N04C (Urea-SCR) light duty engine. However, no misconduct in relation to the certification testing of this engine has been identified to date.
Hino has reported those issues and its decision to the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI).
“Hino deeply apologises for any inconvenience caused to its customers and other stakeholders,” a statement from its head office said.
The company, a subsidiary of Toyota, said that “internal pressures” to meet certain targets and deadlines had been placed on Hino employees, leading to the cheated vehicle tests.
Hino said it “voluntarily commenced an investigation” into its emissions testing after recently identifying a potential issue, leading the United States Department of Justice to then launch its own investigation.
The company found that during a durability test for emissions performance in one engine, a muffler used to purify noxious emissions into nitrogen and water was replaced during testing, “and the test was continued using the replaced muffler”.
“This change was made after learning that emissions performance would deteriorate over time and that the engine may not meet the regulatory emissions standards,” the company said.
“Hino has also confirmed through emission durability retesting that there is a possibility this engine may exceed regulatory emissions standards over the course of the vehicle’s full useful life.”
Hino also admitted that during fuel consumption testing for two of its heavy-duty engines, fuel flow rate values were altered “to make it appear advantageous in relation to fuel economy”.
Hino Motor Sales Australia (HMSA) distributes Hino vehicles with many engine variants available for a broad range of uses across its light-duty (300 Series), medium-duty (500 Series) and heavy-duty (700 Series) trucks, as well as buses including the Poncho, RN and RK models.
“The suspension of sale in Japan affects engine variants certified by the Japanese regulator, which have not been sold in Australia,” a media statement from Hino Australia added.
The announced misconduct and issues related to engine performance do not affect the drivability of the affected vehicles and raise no vehicle safety concerns, stressed Hino Australia.