In a major blow to the Japanese carmaker, Suzuki Motor announced that the company used improper fuel economy and emissions tests on its vehicles in Japan.
The growing list of improprieties has tarnished the image of the country's manufacturing industry, known for high-quality, efficient production.
Representatives for Mazda and Suzuki confirmed they submitted reports regarding improper testing to the ministry but declined further comment. The ministry looked at tests conducted over different periods at all three automakers.
Suzuki, Mazda and Yamaha have admitted using falsified emissions data to inspect their new vehicles after the government ordered the industry to review its procedures.
The companies admitted incomplete emissions tests were done on some of its vehicles, but their officials certified the results as though the tests had been administered fully.
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"Mishandlings found in so many vehicles were a serious problem, and we take it very seriously", Suzuki Motor president Toshihiro Suzuki told a news conference.
A total of 30 models, including those whose no longer being produced, were subject to the investigation. Suzuki said almost half of its 12,819 new vehicle inspections involved improper inspections at its three plants. He said managers familiar with inspections were not staffed at the factories where discipline was lacking. The transport ministry will change its ministerial ordinance to request automakers save test results of manufactured vehicles and take measures to prevent adjustment of results.
Suzuki unearthed improper tests on 6,401 units out of 12,819 since 2012, while Mazda detected inappropriate testing on 72 vehicles out of 1,875 since 2014.
The ministry made the results public based on reports from 20 automakers collected as of Wednesday. "The ministry will strictly instruct the carmakers to make sure thorough preventive measures are taken", transport minister Keiichi Ishii said in a released statement.
The quality-control data falsifications have embroiled Kobe Steel Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corp.