Honda Motor CEO Toshihiro Mibe has apologised to shareholders for irregularities in the company’s engine testing procedures which came to light recently as a result of an ongoing industry wide investigation by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).

Earlier this month, the MLIT reported a further 38 models manufactured by five Japanese companies, Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha, were found to have obtained test certifications through malpractice, including six models currently in production. The test certifications are required for mass production.

Honda admitted to improperly conducting tests on 22 models between 2009 and 2017, none of which are currently in production.

At the end of 2023, the MLIT investigation found irregularities in safety and engine/emissions tests in a large number of models produced by Toyota group companies, including Daihatsu Motor, forcing it to suspend production for a for prolonged periods this year.

Mibe told shareholders at the company’s annual ‘ meeting in Tokyo: “We apologise deeply again for causing great anxiety.”

Senior managing executive officer, Noriya Kaihara, suggested there had been no pressure from the company to commit the fraud, describing what took place as a “technical problem” and adding the company had worked hard to prevent a repeat by strengthening its oversight management.

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Shareholders backed the company’s current board of directors, including the reappointment of Mibe as CEO.