Subaru's Japanese Testers Falsified Brake And Steering System Safety Data

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And they thought they could get away with it?

Over the past few years, the public has learned that a few major automakers, Volkswagen in particular, deliberately falsified diesel fuel economy emissions data. Subaru also admitted it falsified exhaust levels and efficiency for some of its cars. But is it possible for automakers to falsify other types of data? Apparently so, as The Drive, via Asahi, has learned.

Subaru president Tomomi Nakamura admitted that the Japanese automaker did, in fact, falsify data related to brake and steering system tests. As of this writing, there is no recall, at least in Japan.

We reached out to Subaru North America and a company spokesperson confirmed the following: “This does not affect any US-bound cars or any export cars. All vehicles produced for export markets are compliant and pass all safety requirements, as do all US built products.”

Remember, US-built Subarus, including the Impreza, Legacy, and Outback, are manufactured in Lafayette, Indiana. So, what’s going on in Subaru’s home market? Japanese media claims braking tests conducted at Subaru’s Gunma Manufacturing Division in Japan were in fact falsified. One example includes the braking ability of the rear wheels. Testers allegedly engaged the parking brake at the same time they applied the brakes to the rear wheels.

Obviously, this is illegal because it (wrongly) improves braking performance. Another falsified braking test involved the parking brake. Testers figured it would be a good idea to use the foot brake as well, which also produces false braking data.

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As for the falsified steering data, well, it went something like this: if the test vehicle’s tires did not turn in accordance to standards, testers would simply use their hands (yes, really) to move the tires so that the movement met the automaker’s requirements.

Subaru North America also told us the above “references only additional tests for the JDM market by the Japanese government. In essence, it also does not affect the compliance of vehicles for the Japanese market, just the completion of an additional layer of tests required by Japanese government.”

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