Toyota admits to cheating engine tests for HiLux, Prado, LandCruiser, shipments halted

Shipments of Toyota vehicles with three popular diesel engines – including the 2.8-litre four-cylinder in the HiLux and Prado – have been paused overseas after “irregularities” were found in power certification testing. The impact on Australia is unclear.

Toyota has admitted to cheating certification testing for diesel engines used in the HiLux, Fortuner, HiAce, LandCruiser 300 Series, Prado and Lexus LX – among other models – months after admitting to rigging crash tests for developing-market models sold in Asia.

A statement from the Japanese car giant overnight said it has discovered “irregularities during the horsepower output testing” of three of its most popular diesel engines, including the 2.8-litre four-cylinder used in the HiLux, Prado and other vehicles.

Toyota says it has decided to “temporarily suspend shipments” of the affected engines, as well as vehicles powered by them.

A Toyota Australia spokesperson told Drive the company is “seeking information on any impact to vehicles in the Australian market.”

“We have been informed that there is no variation in the power, torque or other powertrain-related values and in addition there is no compromise to the emissions, safety or driveability of the vehicles,” the spokesperson said.

Toyota has named three affected engines: the 2.8-litre ‘1GD’ turbo-diesel four-cylinder, 2.4-litre ‘2GD’ turbo-diesel four-cylinder, and 3.3-litre ‘F33A’ twin-turbo diesel V6.

Affected models include the HiLux ute, Fortuner SUV, Prado 4WD, LandCruiser 300 Series and Lexus LX large four-wheel-drives, Innova people mover, HiAce/Granace/Mazda Bongo Brawny van twin, and Dyna/Dutro trucks.

A list of regions where the vehicles were sold – and the dates from which they were sold – is included at the bottom of this story.

A Toyota representative told Reuters approximately 84,000 vehicles sold under 10 nameplates are affected globally. The new-generation Prado due in Australia later this year is not affected.

Toyota says it was alerted to the so-called “irregularities” by a report commissioned to investigate potential cheating in emissions certification tests for forklifts and construction machinery by its Toyota Industries Corporation (TICO) division, which develops diesel engines.

However the issues in the diesel-engine certification tests are related to power ratings, rather than emissions, according to the Japanese car giant.

“The investigation found that irregularities occurred during the horsepower output testing for the certification of three diesel engine models for automobiles that Toyota had commissioned to TICO,” Toyota said in a media statement overnight.

“During certification testing, the horsepower output performance of engines was measured using ECUs [engine control units] with software that differed from that used for mass production so that results could measure to make values appear smoother with less variation.

“Ten vehicle models are using the affected engines globally, including six in Japan.”

The Japanese car giant claims it has re-tested the affected engines and confirmed they “meet engine performance output standards.”

“Therefore, there is no need to stop using the affected engines or vehicles. However, we deeply apologize to our customers who have been supporting affected vehicles and waiting for a long time, and also to all other stakeholders for the significant inconvenience and concern that this has caused.”

“Based on the results of the investigation, TICO decided today to temporarily suspend shipments of the affected engines. Toyota has also decided to temporarily suspend shipments of vehicles equipped with the affected engines.

“Going forward, we will provide detailed explanations to the authorities and promptly proceed with appropriate measures, including conducting testing in the presence of witnesses if appropriate.”

The latest news follows months after Toyota’s small-car division Daihatsu – which sells cars marketed as Toyotas in some regions – was caught rigging crash-tests for vehicles sold in South-East Asian countries with less stringent safety standards than developed markets such as Australia.

Toyota was found to have modified the door panels of vehicles destined for crash testing to deliver better occupant protection than examples sold to customers – and used a different airbag control module in cars used to pass crash tests.

In 2022, Toyota’s truck division, Hino, was found to have falsified emissions and fuel-efficiency data on engines dating back to 2003.

“We recognise the gravity of the fact that the repeated certification irregularities at TICO, following those at Daihatsu, have shaken the very foundations of the company as an automobile manufacturer,” Toyota said overnight.

The car giant says its Toyota Industries Corporation division will “start by providing detailed explanations to authorities regarding these findings … in the hopes of regaining the trust of customers and other stakeholders as a manufacturer worthy of certification.”

It has promised a restructure of the diesel-engine-producing division and a “drastic reform of corporate culture”.

Engine Vehicle name Start of sales Manufacturing company Destination
1GD LandCruiser Prado August 2020 (no longer in production) Toyota Motor Corporation
Hino Motors Ltd.
Japan, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia
1GD HiAce/Granace/Bongo Brawny Van (Mazda) December 2017 Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd.
Gifu Auto Body Co., Ltd.
Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd. (Thailand)
Japan, Europe, Middle East, Asia
1GD Dyna/Dutro (Hino) May 2021 Hino Motors Ltd. Japan, Asia
1GD HiLux May 2020 Toyota Motor Thailand Co., Ltd.
Toyota South Africa Motors (Pty) Ltd.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Ltd. (India)
Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia
1GD Fortuner May 2020 Toyota Motor Thailand Co., Ltd.
PT. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia
Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Ltd. (India)
Europe, Middle East, Asia
2GD HiLux May 2020 Toyota Motor Thailand Co., Ltd. Japan
2GD Innova July 2020 Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Ltd. (India) Asia
F33A LandCruiser 300 Series August 2021 Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd. Japan, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia
F33A Lexus LX500d January 2022 Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd. Europe, Middle East, Asia
Alex Misoyannis

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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