Toyota Faces Multiple Scandals Amid Record Sales

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Last updated Feb 7, 2024

Despite achieving a record-breaking sales year in 2023, with over 11 million vehicles sold worldwide, Toyota is currently navigating through a turbulent period marked by a series of scandals and controversies across its 17 companies. The Japanese automotive giant, renowned for its quality and safety, has been hit by governance issues and testing irregularities that threaten to tarnish its global reputation. Should you be concerned about Toyota reliability? Here’s what you need to know. 

Toyota’s Chairman Issues Apologies, Acknowledging Fault

toyota emissions scandal

Toyota’s chairman, Akio Toyoda, has publicly apologized for the scandals plaguing its subsidiaries, including small-car maker Daihatsu, truck manufacturer Hino Motors, and Toyota Industries, which is responsible for producing engines. The issues primarily revolve around certification test procedures for cars and engines, casting a shadow over Toyota’s commitment to quality and integrity. In a bold move, Toyoda addressed the media and stakeholders, expressing deep regret for the inconvenience and concern caused by these irregularities.

“I would like to express my deepest apologies to our customers and stakeholders for the inconvenience and concern caused by the successive irregularities at Hino Motors, Daihatsu and Toyota Industries,” Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda told reporters

The Impact on Production and Sales

The repercussions of these scandals are already being felt among affected brands. Daihatsu suspended shipments of all its cars following a safety scandal investigation that revealed issues with 64 models, some of which are sold under the Toyota brand. 

This has led to a significant drop in Daihatsu’s global production and sales. The Daihatsu scandal led the company to halt production. Toyota itself has halted shipments of certain models, including the Hilux truck and Land Cruiser 300 SUV, after an independent panel discovered wrongdoing in tests for diesel engines produced by Toyota Industries.

Cheating on Engine Testing

The situation worsened when Japanese transport officials raided a Toyota-affiliated plant after the company admitted to cheating on engine testing. This admission adds another layer to the company’s current woes. This scandal is particularly damaging as it involves some of Toyota’s most popular international models, including the Land Cruiser and Hilux SUVs, affecting markets in Japan, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

The Takata Airbag Recall Continues

Takata’s massive airbag recalls have been ongoing for over a decade. Since 2013, over 40 million cars and trucks have been recalled due to dangerous hazards from the airbags. 

In 2024, Toyota is expanding the Takata airbag recall even further. The company has issued a warning to owners of about 50,000 vehicles in the United States. The new Toyota recall includes certain model years of the Corolla and RAV4. Toyota advises drivers to take their vehicles in for service immediately.

These are the models and years affected by the most recent Toyota recall:

  • 2003 and 2004 Corolla
  • 2023 and 2004 Corolla Matrix
  • 2004 and 2005 RAV4

See if your VIN is included in ANY Toyota recall here.

Should Toyota Drivers Be Concerned?

As Toyota grapples with these multiple fronts of controversy, leadership is under pressure to steer the company out of scandal and restore its image. However, with no concrete plan of action, Toyota drivers are wondering what’s next. 

Should you be concerned about Toyota’s reliability? In the United States, no major issues have arisen aside from the decade-long Takata airbag recalls. Regardless, we highly recommend checking if your VIN is subject to ANY recalls, regardless of make or model. Use the U.S. NHTSA’s free recall checker here.

No matter how you look at it, Toyota’s resilience is under pressure. Drivers and competitors alike are watching closely to see how the automaker known for reliability will respond to these challenges.

See Consumer Reports’ 10 Most Reliable Car Brands For 2024


  1. D. Green

    “2023 and 2004 Corolla Matrix”

    Is this a typo?

  2. Edwin

    With the Takata problem, seems my 2013 sonic has that same recall.


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