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RIP Combustion Engines: Japan Shows Off Cars of the Future

  • Companies tout EVs, fuel-cell concepts and self-driving tech
  • Troubles at Nissan, Kobe Steel and Takata hang over car show
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Japan’s flagship automakers will present their futuristic visions for the post-fossil fuel era at the Tokyo Motor Show that kicks off on Wednesday. If only the industry, reeling from a run of scandals, could forget about the here and now.

Japan’s once-impregnable reputation for quality vehicles has taken a battering. Nissan Motor Co. has just announced plans to suspend local car production and is under regulatory scrutiny after admitting it has used unauthorized safety inspectors. Auto industry supplier Kobe Steel Inc. has fessed up to forging data on aluminum and other materials going back decades. Takata Corp., whose exploding air bags were the subject of the industry’s biggest ever recall, filed for bankruptcy in June.