(Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp. Chairman Akio Toyoda was reappointed with his lowest shareholder support on record after an ongoing vehicle safety probe drew opposition from foreign investors and sowed doubt in the company’s leadership.

Toyoda’s reelection received 71.93% of the vote, according to a filing by Japan’s finance ministry on Wednesday, a day after Toyota’s annual shareholder meeting. That compares with 84.57% the 68-year-old garnered last year, already a sizable drop from the 96% he claimed in 2022.

Koji Sato, who became chief executive officer in April last year, received 95.44% of the vote.

Meanwhile, a proposal urging Toyota to be more transparent about its lobbying efforts against climate policies received 9.17% of votes. Last year, that motion got a positive reception of about 15%.

“We received both critical and supportive feedback and questions from attending shareholders regarding not only certification issues but also the return to stakeholders,” Toyota said in a statement. “Moving forward, we will continue to value dialog with our shareholders, sincerely taking their feedback to heart and addressing it.”

Toyoda’s performance and the company’s corporate governance were the focus of the meeting, after the automaker was dealt a fresh set of regulatory troubles when a probe revealed discrepancies in the vehicle-safety certifications of five Japanese car manufacturers.

Scrutiny Grows

The transport ministry suspended shipments of six vehicles, including three made by Toyota. Half a year earlier, similar issues at pair of Toyota affiliates drew heavy scrutiny to the world’s biggest carmaker.

In response, Toyoda held a press conference in January during which he claimed responsibility for the wrongdoings and urged the company and its other entities to “return to basics” to overcome the scandals.

Ongoing regulatory issues have overshadowed a banner year for Toyota as it navigates seismic shifts in the country’s economic landscape and significant change in the automobile industry as a whole. 

Toyota has been slow to embrace electrification as many other carmakers pledge to totally phase out combustion engine cars. Instead, it sees a future where gasoline, electric and hybrid vehicles play a role.

While Toyota has been criticized for sticking to internal combustion engines and the promise of hydrogen fuel cells, its strategy has been vindicated somewhat by the recent downturn in electric vehicle sales growth and buoyant hybrid sales.

Business Boom

Last month, in a move to keep internal combustion engines relevant for longer, Toyota unveiled prototypes of so-called carbon neutral engines capable of running on different types of fuel.

Those bets on a multifaceted future have been paying off. Toyota became the first Japanese company to post an operating profit of more than ¥5 trillion ($31.7 billion) during the fiscal year that ended in March 2024. 

The Japanese automaker also manufactured and sold over 11 million passenger cars last year, a record that cemented its position ahead of Volkswagen AG as the world’s No. 1 carmaker for a fourth straight year.

In an unrelated move to Toyota’s car business, two Japanese megabanks banks earlier this month revealed plans to divest ¥1.32 trillion of strategic shareholdings in the automaker, a major leap in the nation’s push to get big businesses to untangle their deep web of cross-held shares.

Toyota’s stock rose 1.8% in Tokyo on Wednesday, taking this year’s gain to 20%.

(Updates to add Toyota statement in fifth paragraph.)

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