Japan ministry says unauthorised staff certified cars at 5 Nissan plants

Logo of the Nissan Motor Co. is displayed at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo, Japan, on Nov 2, 2015.
Logo of the Nissan Motor Co. is displayed at the 44th Tokyo Motor Show in Tokyo, Japan, on Nov 2, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS, BLOOMBERG) - Japanese Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii said on Friday (Oct 6) that unauthorised technicians had been found certifying vehicles at five Nissan Motor plants that the ministry has been inspecting.

The unauthorised technicians included contract workers, Ishii told a news conference.

"It's extremely regrettable, causing anxiety for users and shaking the foundation of the certification system," he said.

The ministry said it has carried out spot inspections at all of Nissan's six assembly plants in Japan and found stamps of certified technicians were used at five plants on documents to sign off final vehicle checks conducted by non-certified technicians.

Nissan has decided to recall all 1.2 million new passenger cars it sold in Japan over the past three years after discovering final vehicle inspections were not performed by authorised technicians.

Mr Ishii said Nissan was expected to file the recall with the ministry on Friday afternoon.

Nissan's recall includes all of the 386,000 new passenger vehicles it sold in Japan in 2016, roughly 10 per cent of its global sales. It excludes Nissan-branded mini-vehicles produced by Mitsubishi Motors, which comprise roughly one-third of Nissan's annual domestic sales.

The recall will cost the company 25 billion yen (S$303 million).