TOKYO • Nissan factories routinely forged inspection documents for new vehicles, reports said yesterday, as a scandal mounted around Japan's second-biggest carmaker, which has already been hit with a costly recall.
Nissan said on Monday it would recall 1.21 million cars in its home market after it emerged that unqualified staff were performing final checks on vehicles before they were shipped to dealers and consumers.
But the Asahi Shimbun said yesterday that factories issued documents with names and seals of certified inspectors "to make as if certified staff had carried them out". It quoted an anonymous transport ministry official as saying: "It is a significant problem if the papers were forged to hide wrongdoings."
A government probe found the Japanese carmaker had used uncertified staff to check vehicles at all six of its domestic factories, Kyodo News said.
Nissan said the transport ministry had carried out inspections at all six of its factories in Japan.
However, a spokesman declined to comment on the content of the reports, citing an internal investigation that the firm had said could take one month. Transport ministry officials also declined to comment on the reports.
Nissan shares shed earlier gains and dropped more than two percent after national broadcaster NHK aired the news.
On Monday, Nissan president Hiroto Saikawa admitted that junior inspectors were performing tasks they were not certified to do, calling it a "very serious problem".
The vehicles affected were built between October 2014 and September this year, the company said.