Japan's Transport Ministry is not happy

… about the apparent falsification of crash-test data by Toyota, Honda, Mazda, and Suzuki, all of which are accused of submitting “faulty” data.

So far it doesn’t appear that US models are affected. The attached article from Japan Times has more detail. I don’t recognize most of the model names. Still, the companies guilty of these falsifications should be punished beyond the possible loss of consumer confidence.

Loss of face is about the worse thing you can do to a Japanese person or company.

It’s kind of like the airman in Thule AFB, Greenland who was being chewed out and threatened with punishment by an officer who was waiting on him to finish the servicing of his aircraft. The airman responded, It’s 3 AM, 40 below and I’m pumping s**t from your airplane. Just what do you have in mind for punishment?


Big fines seem in order. I doubt that loss of face will do much, especially if Toyoda retains his job. Same for other companies. If loss of face is so important, why did they take the chance?

1 Like

Yes, who would have guessed that in the face of unrealistic “safety” and emissions standards that companies would be forced to bend the rules and cheat on the tests? I’m sure this is an exceedingly rare occurrence, everywhere in the world that imposes unnecessary and expensive requirements which are difficult to meet. After all, no one would think to cheat their way through unreasonably difficult standards, right?

Result of regs: pollution down, deaths down, economy up. Yep, what a waste of time!


If we didn’t have such aggressive government regulation, do you think we would still be driving cars that offer the performance, safety, and cleanliness of a 1980 Chevette? Even in the developing world, cars now have dual front airbags, catalytic converters and other emissions control devices, etc. Some of the mandatory features are just too expensive, and new vehicles are out-of-reach financially to an increasing percentage of the population.

1 Like

3 words that do not apply to a Chevette of any year - performance, safety, cleanliness


So you think companies would have done all this of their own free will? You know they wouldn’t have done it. Tens of thousands of additional people would be dead today.

Read some crash tests of cars built today for countries lacking our regulations-they’re terrible, even when built by major companies like Nissan.


The 1978 Chevette did 0-60 in 15.8 seconds. Are there any new cars sold in the US today that are that slow?

No, government regulations were not needed to develop vehicles better than the Chevette. Manufacture competition would have made that car obsolete sooner if the government stayed out of the car business. Regulations are necessary but I don’t think anyone today would buy a new car with 1975 technology.

We can credit the government for GM bringing the Chevette to the U.S. market: it was done in an effort by GM to comply with Corporate Average Fuel Economy requirements. Selling those subcompact cars allowed GM to sell Caprice Classics and Park Avenues etc. and meet C.A.F.E. goals.

1 Like

Consumers overwhelmingly shop on price. Subaru aggressively markets their safety aspect but do they own the auto market? No. Left to manufacturers, we’d be buying cars where glitzy features took precedence over safety or environmental concerns. Accidents and death happen to the other guy so why worry? Time and again, when left to self-police, there will be shortcuts taken.

1 Like

If we think back to 1956, all of GM’s brands/models featured a hidden gas filler that was concealed behind a tail light or in another not-obvious location. This is the '56 Caddy, as an example:

While GM was redesigning/re-engineering their cars with this frivilous feature, they could have been working on things like strengthened door latches, disc brakes, crumple zones, reduced emissions, and other details that actually had value for their customers.

Instead, they spent loads of money to come up with something that totally lacks purpose or value.

While we are on the subject of safety, the US government wasn’t the instigator for improved safety, the market was. Auto insurers got together through the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and demanded that improvements be made by auto manufacturers to reduce injury and death resulting from accidents. At the same time, the IIHS drove government standards. The focal point for all this was private businesses looking out for their bottom line and public safety.


Why did you add “and public safety” it’s all about the bottom line period. The safety aspect was just a bonus for the public.

1 Like

By having more than one goal they attract more support for their interests. Also, why do capitalists have to be monsters that care only about money?

Bingo and Amen!

The Chevette WISHED it had 1975 technology! :grin:

The Chevette was a rebodied Opel Kadett designed in 1965 and carried through to the 1973 C model basically the same. Opel introduced the D model Kadett with FWD in 1979. We in the USA were “gifted” with the obsolete tooling to build Chevettes (the British Vauxhall’s name for it).

Once voted the “Best Car from a Third World Country” by Car and Driver magazine. :rofl:


The Chevette was born of the early 70’s oil embargo crisis. Gasoline prices skyrocketted, if you were lucky enough to even find any to buy. GM needed a car to sell asap, geared to to mpg-conscious customers. Since they had up to then been courting the 12-15 mpg customers, they had little choice but to buy the technology needed to manufacture a small economy car. 2W rear drive, solid rear axle, seems so simple that very little could go wrong. As long as they kept the rest of the car an equally simple design. Unfortunately … lol …as you might expect they decided it needed A/C and an automatic trans. Ooops!

If you are implying that the Chevette’s mediocre to poor quality was the result of the optional A/C and optional automatic transmission, how would you explain the reality that these cars were crapalacious even when equipped with manual transmission and no A/C?

1 Like