TOKYO (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co Ltd (7201.T) said it would hold a news conference on Friday to provide an update on the investigation into improper final inspection procedures – an issue that has led to the recall of 1.2 million vehicles in Japan.
Chief Executive Officer Hiroto Saikawa and Chief Competitive Officer Yasuhiro Yamauchi will attend the 4:30 p.m. (0730 GMT) briefing, at Nissan’s headquarters in Yokohama, Japan’s second-biggest automaker said.
Saikawa is scheduled to brief the transport ministry on its findings ahead of the news conference.
Last month, Nissan issued the 1.2 million-vehicle recall – including all passenger cars it produced for sale in Japan over the past three years – after discovering that uncertified inspectors were for decades signing off on vehicle checks required by the transport ministry for cars sold in Japan.
As a result, Nissan suspended production of all vehicles for the domestic market for around three weeks, resuming output at its six Japanese assembly plants last week.
The investigation has also found that in some cases Nissan’s process to train certified inspectors was shorter than reported to the ministry, while in others, answers to certification exams were provided to trainees in advance.
Nissan expects the recall alone will cost it 25 billion yen ($222.10 million), and last week shaved its full-year operating profit forecast as it braces for the fallout at home.
The misconduct does not affect export vehicles, and all required safety checks were performed on the affected cars. But the scandal has tarnished Nissan’s brand at home, and along with a data falsification scandal at compatriot Kobe Steel Ltd (5406.T), has raised questions about compliance and quality control at Japanese manufacturers.
Domestic rival Subaru Corp (7270.T) has also been hit by compliance issues after it also admitted that it had not been following proper inspection issues going back around 30 years. As a result, it plans to recall around 400,000 cars sold in Japan.
Reporting by Ritsuko Ando and Naomi Tajitsu
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