Suzuki CEO To Step Down Amid Probe

Suzuki said its chief executive will step down this month as the Japanese carmaker faces a probe into its use of improper fuel emissions tests.

Osamu Suzuki, who has led the company for nearly forty years, will stay on as chairman.

Japan’s fourth biggest car company will also cut executive pay and 2015 bonuses.

Last month it said it found “discrepancies” in its fuel emissions testing but denied cheating.

Toshihiro Suzuki, the company’s president and son of Osamu Suzuki, said on Wednesday that the changes were intended to regain customers’ trust.

“This latest incident occurred because of problems within the company which had continued for a long time, including an R&D division which was not transparent enough,” he said.

“We are making these changes today to try to regain the trust of our customers, and to rebuild Team Suzuki.”

Preventative measures

Osamu Honda, the company’s executive vice president and chief technical officer will also retire.

The management changes will take effect on 29 June subject to shareholder approval at Suzuki’s annual general meeting.

The firm also said it was taking preventative measures such as strengthening training for its engineers, improving testing technology and promoting the use of a whistle-blowing system.

Suzuki said in May that its emission and fuel efficiency testing method for 16 models was not in line with official regulations.

In a statement, it said the problems dated back to 2010 and about 2.1 million vehicles were affected, though the issues did not apply to Suzuki-branded vehicles sold outside Japan.

Earlier, this month, authorities raided the company’s headquarters as part of an investigation into the tests.

The latest changes at Suzuki come after its smaller Japanese rival Mitsubishi Motors admitted it had been falsifying fuel efficiency tests for 25 years. In May, Mitsubishi announced that its president, Tetsuro Aikawa, would step down.

The company also entered into a strategic alliance with Nissan, which will take a 34% stake in Mitsubishi, subject to regulatory approval.

German carmaker Volkswagen has also admitted cheating emissions tests in the US.

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