Suzuki, Mazda, Yamaha Motor join Japan's growing list of data-faking firms

It would be the first time Mazda would be involved in a quality compliance scandal

Several manufacturers in Japan have been found to have improperly tested cars for emissions and fuel economy in an investigation ordered by the Japanese government after the discovery of Nissan and Subaru's emissions testing impropriety past year.

The government had ordered the automakers to make checks after revelations of improper testing at Subaru Corp and Nissan Motor Co previous year. Improper inspections happened less often at the other two - 2.1 per cent of 335 motorbikes inspected in the last two years at Yamaha and 3.8 per cent of 1,875 vehicles inspected at Mazda over the past four years, the ministry said in a statement.

The admissions are the latest in a string of scandals involving data falsification and testing standard breaches in Japan's key auto sector. The ministry looked at tests done for different periods at the three automakers, stretching back to 2012 in Suzuki's case.

None of the automakers found significant problems with actual emissions and fuel economy performance of the vehicles, which were destined for sale in Japan, and do not plan any recalls.

Suzuki, Japan's fourth-largest automaker, said that of 12,819 sample cars tested for fuel economy and emissions since June, 2012, around 50 percent had been inspected improperly.

"I deeply apologize and will lead efforts to prevent recurrence", Suzuki Chief Executive Toshihiro Suzuki told a news conference.

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A total of 30 models, including those whose no longer being produced, were subject to the investigation.

At Mazda, of 1,875 cars subject to the sampling inspection, improper inspections were discovered in almost 4 percent since November 2014.

Suzuki added that the inspections were mishandled at factories where discipline was generally lacking.

The ministry made the results public based on reports from 20 automakers collected as of Wednesday.

The ministry said it would "examine their reports and take strict measures if necessary".

The quality-control data falsifications have embroiled Kobe Steel Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corp.

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