Toyota has announced it has expelled Hino from the Commercial Japan Partnership Technologies (CJPT) group following the  scandal  which has enveloped the truck maker involving falsification of engine data.

It is the most severe step announced so far by Toyota, which has a controlling 50.1 percent in Hino, since the scandal erupted in March.

The CJPT partnership,  was established in April 2021 by Toyota, Hino and Isuzu to facilitate technology development for commercial vehicles. Suzuki and Daihatsu joined in July the same year.

“We believe that Hino’s participation will cause inconvenience to stakeholders, and we have decided that it is appropriate to expel Hino from CJPT,” Toyota president Akio Toyoda said in a statement.

Hino’s 10 per cent equity stake in CJPT would be transferred to Toyota, the statement said.

“We take this decision very seriously,” Hino said in a statement responding to the expulsion from CJPT, adding that it was working to correct the issues that led to the misconduct.

Toyota said Hino “will play a minimal role” in a previously announced project due to begin in 2023 to develop small electric commercial vans and light-duty fuel cell electric trucks to transport goods between Tokyo and Fukushima prefecture.

Hino said on Monday it would suspend shipment of small trucks after a transport ministry investigation revealed that some 76,000 of its small trucks sold since 2019 had not been subjected to the required number of engine tests.

Monday’s announcement followed earlier revelations that it had falsified data on some engines going back as far as 2003, at least a decade earlier than originally indicated.