Nissan, Suzuki and Daihatsu issued significant vehicle recalls because of problems with their electronics, the area that some believe to be the unresolved fault with Toyota cars, The Times of London reported Friday.
Industry insiders said the trio of carmakers was responding to both public and behind-the-scenes pressure from within the Japanese government to make the image of Japan “squeaky clean” in the wake of the Toyota crisis.
A total of more than half a million vehicles were affected by the three recalls, which applied mainly to older cars and vans.
Significantly, the recalls were issued to deal with minor problems that caused no injuries, but after Toyota, Japan was taking no chances.
The new atmosphere of fear was intensified by a warning to Toyota from Yukio Hatoyama, the Japanese prime minister.
After the grilling of Toyota’s top executives by American legislators, Hatoyama said that while it was good for the Toyota president to appear in person at a congressional hearing, “I don’t think this has put an end (to the issue).”
The Suzuki, Nissan and Daihatsu recalls, all of which were issued within a few hours of each other, came after the cross-examination in Washington on Wednesday of Toyota president Akio Toyoda.
Toyoda's testimony on Capitol Hill, during which he apologized for his company’s behavior and sobbed openly, was viewed by brand specialists as a huge blow to the world’s largest carmaker.