Japan's Hino Motors Ltd., Toyota Motor Corp.'s truck-making subsidiary, admitted Friday to having submitted fraudulent emissions and fuel economy data to transport authorities, suspending the same day the shipment of vehicles with engines for which the figures were utilized and may not meet Japanese standards.

The use of fraudulent data has been ongoing since at least 2016, with the company having sold at least 115,526 vehicles with engines certified by the government based on rigged data, it said.

The company said it conducted an internal investigation into its pre-shipment inspection of vehicles for the domestic market after discovering malpractice in the certification of engines produced for the North American market.

Hino Motors Ltd. President Satoshi Ogiso (L) and Chairman Yoshio Shimo bow to apologize for fraudulent data at an impromptu press conference on March 4, 2022, in Tokyo. (Kyodo)

Some of the engines that were under investigation had been used in buses manufactured by its parent company as well as Isuzu Motors Ltd., another Toyota subsidiary specializing in commercial vehicles.

"Employees felt pressured to follow strict schedules and meet numerical targets," company President Satoshi Ogiso said during a press conference in Tokyo also attended by Chairman Yoshio Shimo.

About 35 percent, or 22,000 vehicles, of its annual domestic sales are expected to be subject to suspension, the company said

Hino said it has already reported the issue to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, as well as the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

"The conduct shattered customer confidence and sowed doubt into the root of the certification process," the transport ministry said in a press release.

The U.S. Justice Department has already launched a probe into the matter, Hino said.

Japan has seen a series of data manipulation scandals by automakers and other manufacturing firms in recent years, exposing flaws in their corporate culture and internal controls.

Electronics conglomerate Mitsubishi Electric Corp. admitted last year to inspection lapses on air conditioners for train carriages, with data fabrication spanning more than 30 years.

In 2017, Toray Industries Inc. said its subsidiary Toray Hybrid Cord Inc., which manufactures reinforcing materials for tires and other products, had falsified data for around eight years. The firm had been aware of the matter for over a year but failed to report it.

In the auto sector, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. admitting in 2016 to using favorable data for its cars to exaggerate fuel economy. Suzuki Motor Corp., Mazda Motor Corp. and Yamaha Motor Co. admitted in 2018 to conducting improper fuel-economy inspections.

Hino is investigating whether engine certification malpractice took place before 2016. It said a third-party inquiry will be conducted into the causes of the matter including scrutiny of its corporate culture.

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