The on-site investigation was conducted by Japanese transport ministry officials at Toyota Motor’s headquarters on Tuesday. This signifies a critical development that merits close attention from both industry analysts and the public.

The scandal surrounding car safety certification in Japan has escalated. The initial issue, which exposed safety test irregularities at Toyota’s Daihatsu compact car unit, has now ensnared other major automakers following industry-wide checks ordered by the transport ministry.

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Several Japanese automakers, including Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Suzuki, and Yamaha, admitted to submitting incorrect data during vehicle certification.

Toyota, Japan’s largest automaker, was the first to undergo an inspection which was flagged by the ministry on Monday. The other four automakers will also be inspected, a ministry official said.

While some analysts noted that Toyota will need to improve its management practices more seriously, others thought that sales would not be affect it much because only a few models were involved and Toyota is not the only automaker with certification issues.

According to the head of Mobility Research at Macquarie James Hong, “When it comes to actual sales in (the) Japan market, the damage will be manageable or quite small, because consumers basically have no alternatives in Japan.”

Hong added that, “Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda is likely to come under more pressure. Proxy advisory firms Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis had recommended shareholders vote against re-electing Toyota at an upcoming annual general meeting. But while his approval rating could fall further, he is not expected to lose his seat.”

Both Toyota and Mazda suspended sales of certain car models. However, they assured customers that these vehicles met all safety requirements and were still safe to drive.