Japan transport ministry red-flags five Nissan plants

Reuters, TOKYO

Sat, Oct 07, 2017 - Page 10

The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism yesterday said inspections at five of six plants making Nissan Motor Co Ltd cars found stamps of certified technicians on documents signing off checks by non-certified technicians on vehicles for the domestic market.

The comment comes as Japan’s second-biggest automaker recalled all 1.2 million passenger cars sold domestically over the past three years due to the issue.

Vehicles destined for the domestic market must undergo an additional final procedure performed by certified technicians before being registered with the transport ministry.

Uncertified technicians at Nissan included contract workers, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii said at a regular news briefing.

“It’s extremely regrettable, causing anxiety for users and shaking the foundation of the certification system,” Ishii said.

The ministry is working to discern whether and how widely the practice was known, he added.

The use of uncertified personnel constitutes the second major instance of misconduct involving a Japanese automaker in under two years, after Mitsubishi Motors Corp admitted in April last year it had tampered with fuel economy tests of some domestic-market models.

Nissan, Japan’s second-biggest carmaker, said on Monday that it would recall 1.21 million passenger vehicles produced for the domestic market between October 2014 and last month, including top sellers the Serena minivan and the Note compact hatchback.

The company added all recalled vehicles would undergo re-inspections for final checks on issues including steering radius and braking and acceleration capabilities, at a cost of about ¥25 billion (US$221 million).