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Toyota president apologizes to shareholders for fraudulent vehicle testing


The Yomiuri Shimbun
People enter the site of Toyota Motor Corp.’s annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday. in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture.

TOYOTA, Aichi – President of Toyota Motor Corp. Koji Sato apologized to shareholders for fraudulent vehicle certification tests during the annual shareholder meeting at the company’s headquarters in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, on Tuesday.

“We sincerely apologize for the great inconvenience caused to our customers and shareholders,” Sato, who chaired the meeting, said at the start of the meeting.

The irregularities in Toyota Motor’s certification tests came to light on June 3 and the automaker has suspended production of three models of its group companies.

Before the revelations, certification testing irregularities were discovered at Daihatsu Motor Co. and Toyota Industries Corp, both of which are members of the Toyota Group.

“We sold [the models] without following the proper procedures to obtain certification,” Sato said. “Chairman Akio Sato is working on improvements in the workplace. I will work with him to prevent a recurrence.”

Proposals to appoint 10 members to the board of directors, including Toyoda and Sato, were approved at the shareholders’ meeting.

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc., a U.S. voting consultancy, advised against the proposal to appoint Toyoda as director, saying he is the one ultimately responsible for the certification irregularities.

Some institutional investors, including the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), the largest public pension fund in the United States, have said they voted against the proposal.

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