The Toyota commercial truck subsidiary was caught cheating emissions regulations for 20 years.
The troubles for Hino commercial trucks continue to get worse.
The Japan-based Toyota subsidiary was recently caught cheating in a web of misconduct that lasted over 20 years. Now the Hino reputation is so damaged, that even the majority stakeholder Toyota is distancing itself from the truckmaker. The latest move against Hino has been the removal of the company from the Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies Corporation (CJPT).
Toyota, the majority stakeholder, does not see the Hino brand as a suitable partner for its next-gen zero-emissions commercial trucks. Hino had already been a member of the partnership for approximately a year, but the involvement made no sense after their emissions-cheating was exposed.
Hino currently manufactures commercial trucks for Toyota, but passenger units like the Toyota Tundra are in no way affected.
"We are extremely disappointed with the company's misconduct in relation to the certification testing, which has greatly undermined the trust of our customers and all other stakeholders," Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in a statement. "Hino has committed misconduct in engine certification for a long period of time, and the company is in a situation where it is not to be recognized as one of the 5.5 million individuals in the Japanese automotive industry."
Honor is a critical part of Japanese society, and it appears Toyota is unwilling to defend Hino and will punish those involved in a scandal that tarnished its brand.
As Toyota's truck arm, Hino had joined the consortium to expedite battery electric, hydrogen combustion, and hydrogen fuel cell commercial trucks of all sizes. However, Hino had actively been falsifying reports on a number of their diesel engines dating back to 2003.
Hino is about to be in deep trouble since the fallout from the scandal is continuing. Initially, a recall of 60,000 trucks was made for excessive pollution but has been further complicated by the stop sale order on the company's 4.0-liter diesel engine.
About 60% of the Hino commercial truck models cannot be shipped until the investigation is concluded.
Hino management claims they were not aware of the parameters of the test, but Toyota is not in a forgiving mood. The scandal will undoubtedly hinder the CJPT progress in the EV truck market, which could not have come at a worse time. The Tesla Semi is coming this year, and Hino's scandal may have inadvertently handed the American brand a possible monopoly.
"As of now, we believe that Hino's participation will cause inconvenience to stakeholders, and we have decided that it is appropriate to expel Hino from CJPT," Toyoda said. "We will continue to work with our partners on the project to solve the issues facing the transportation industry and contribute to achieving a carbon-neutral society."