Nissan To Recall 1.21 Million Vehicles Over Inspection Scandal

Last update: 03/10/2017

YOKOHAMA, Oct 3 (Bernama) -- Nissan Motor Co President Hiroto Saikawa said on Monday that the major Japanese automaker will report to the transport ministry this week a recall of some 1.21 million vehicles sold in the past three years, following the revelation that some of the final vehicle inspections were carried out by unqualified technicians.

"I sincerely apologise" for the irregularities, he told a press conference at the company's headquarters in Yokohama, the capital of Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo.

Nissan revealed Friday that some of the inspections of finished vehicles were conducted by workers who were not properly authorised to carry out such checks at all of its domestic plants.

There is a suspicion that Nissan may have falsified related documents to make it look as if the final inspections were conducted by qualified technicians, informed sources said.

Saikawa noted that final vehicle checks by unqualified workers have been conducted constantly at the company.

He said that Nissan will spend at least a month investigating how and when the practice started and compile measures to ensure that final vehicle checks will be carried out by qualified employees. The investigation will be conducted by a team including a lawyer, he added.

On his responsibility and punishments for people involved, Saikawa, who also serves as chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, said only that he will consider the matter after a satisfactory level of investigation is done.

The vehicle checks by unqualified technicians came to light during the transport ministry's unannounced on-site inspection of the company.

Unauthorised technicians conducted final checks on Nissan vehicles from 21 models manufactured on Sept 18 or before. The remodelled Leaf electric vehicle, which went on sale on Monday, is included in the affected models, and the delivery of some Leaf vehicles will, therefore, be delayed.

The vehicles subject to the recall were made between Oct 2014 and September this year.

For these vehicles, Nissan will carry out safety checks equivalent to the first mandatory inspections conducted three years after the registration of new automobiles. The recall is expected to cost Nissan more than 25 billion yen.

Also on Monday, Nissan revised the number of vehicles in inventory for which sales were suspended following the revelation of the inspection scandal to around 34,000 units from about 60,000 units.

Final vehicle inspections are conducted under the road trucking vehicle law.

Under a transport ministry directive, automakers are required to make sure that final vehicle checks are conducted by employees qualified under their respective internal rules. At Nissan, however, unqualified assistant technicians were found to have taken part in some of such inspections.