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A few days ago, five lads so badly dressed they had to be either plain clothes coppers or public servants, raided the Toyota Global HQ down there on 1 Toyota-Cho, Toyota City.

Travel tip: if you’re out that way and not raiding anyone make sure you go to the Toyota Kaikan Museum with the bonus factory tour but make sure you don’t mention the newest scandal to hit the Japanese car, truck and soft toy industry.

The government of the rising sun has told the world that Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha fiddled with their cars so that they would pass the Japanese certification standards.

This comes a few months after the Toyota-owned Daihatsu recalled 320,000 cars. It turns out the funny old fellows (and others) at the former three-wheeled car maker have been manipulating safety tests since 1989. Then in April the Osaka-based maker of one of the world’s worst named cars fessed up that it had rigged side-collision safety tests for 88,000 of its small cars.

Now I don’t want to make any unscientific connections between executives so out of it on the green tea, sake and matcha that they named one their cars the Daihatsu Naked and doing a shifty on safety testing – especially when other metal execs have come up with names like the Mazda Titan Dump, Great Wall Wingle, Mitsubishi Minica Winky, the Gaylord Gladiator and the Mitsubishi Mum 500 Shall We Join Us – but the sad truth is Japanese carmakers couldn’t be more on the nose.

Then again Toyota’s motto is: “Through our commitment to quality, ceaseless innovation, and respect for the planet, we strive to exceed expectations and be rewarded with a smile.”

Twenty readers and one friend, if you or I wrote that, it would be straight off to the motel of lost companions with heated pool and bars on all the windows.

So, a day after the Daihatsu scandal, Toyota said it would recall 1.12 million cars, mainly in the United States, to fix a faulty sensor that stops the airbag inflating.

Now we have the company admitting to cheating on vehicle tests and the rest of the industry also putting their hands up. Japan’s Department of Safety for cars with funny names ordered three of the automakers to stop production of certain models and put the others in the naughty corner. But because no one wants to hurt the industry’s reputation, this will all be swept under the tatami and goza mats.

Globally, the motor industry has a serious problem. The German car industry was so hurt by “dieselgate” that it has made its engines and tech very complex. So complex that if you buy a new German (car or other) then sell it before warranty runs out. Breaking down is painful.

Being out of warranty and being ripped off for repairs featuring the most expensive spare parts in the world is not good for your wallet or soul.

In Italy we know Ferrari has turned out a dud in the Roma. It’s a pity the McCarroll’s Automotive Group-owned Ferrari North Shore pretends to customers that there is no problem. Reading the US Fezzer blogs would show them how easy the fix is.

Then there’s the manufacturers cutting the prices of EVs in Australia. Nothing wrong with prices going down but what happened when you bought say, a Peugeot e-2008 electric SUV on Friday for $60k and on Monday they cut $20k off the price. Most EV makers have done the same thing. And basically, you have been screwed. Again.

Lambo and Waffles star at auction

To make yourself feel better, head up to South Yarra by the Sea for this year’s Noosa Concours d’Elegance.

Highlighting the festival of metal and meat and moselle is the Hoffmann collection. Mad Max Hoffman single-handedly established the imported vehicle business in the United States. So, there will be Porsche Speedsters which their owners all call Hans, Mercedes-Benz 300SLs which their owners call Maxine and more than 80 non-Max machines, including the Ferrari LM25, the McLaren F1 and the Lamborghini Miura SV.

The 1972 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone was sold by RM Sotheby’s for $7.5m – or $2.5m over estimate. Picture: RM Sotheby’s

The 1972 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone was sold by RM Sotheby’s for $7.5m – or $2.5m over estimate. Picture: RM Sotheby’s

Also coming up but on the South Island is an exhibition that would suit most readers. As you know, Lou Hamilton and I never drop names but he did ask me to tell you that Mona founder David Walsh has a new show at his Hobart home called Namedropping.

This exhibition asks the big questions: Why are we drawn to certain objects and people? What makes the big names big: Porsche, Picasso, Pompidou or McMichael, Aitken and Wagner? Most importantly Dave has a real million-dollar Torana A9X on the floor, so book your tickets now.

Talking of the Sultan of Stepney, he asked me to thank all those readers (none) who wished him a swift recovery from his hospitalisation. Of course he went straight from ICU to the corner bar at the Kensi for a bucket load of Coopers – thus helping the iconic hotel narrowly avoid liquidation.

Talking of the South Island, our own Shane van Gisbergen won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory last Saturday at Portland International Raceway. The popular Australian celebrated the hard-earned win with a burnout all the way around the three-mile road course and then climbed out of his Chevy and topped it off by kicking a Wallabies football into the thrilled crowd.

Next week we will be in Le Mans for the 24-hour race to watch Adelaide person Yasser Shahin in his Porker. The best part about the chairman of the Peregrine Corporation is that he built and owns the world-class Bend Motorsport Park. Keep an eye for fellow Aussies Matt Campbell, James Allen and Carlton’s own Valentino Rossi.

Car and sneakers of the week are the 1972 Lamborghini Miura P400 SV by Bertone, which was sold by RM Sotheby’s for $7.5m – or $2.5m over estimate – and the 1972 Nike Waffle Racing “Moon Shoe” selling a for halfer ($500k). One of only a handful of pairs known to exist, the “Moon Shoe” is a handmade running shoe designed by Nike co-founder and legendary Oregon University track coach Bill Bowerman.

Yup, no need to wait for the Trumpster. The world is already fudged.



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