Japan’s government reviews possible rule changes to safety inspections after Nissan scandal


Transport minister Keiichi Ishii said Friday he is considering revising regulations on how vehicles are registered after Nissan Motor Co. was revealed to have used uncertified inspectors to carry out safety checks at domestic factories for years.

“We will be looking at whether (regulations) can be improved so that final inspections are properly performed,” Ishii said at a news conference.

Checks by both the ministry and Nissan found the automaker used uncertified staff at all six of its car assembly plants in Japan, prompting it to announce a recall of more than 1.2 million vehicles in the country manufactured between October 2014 and last month.

Cars manufactured domestically are inspected by certified inspectors when they come off the assembly line.

Ishii said documents from at least five of the factories showed unqualified staff had signed off on safety checks using the seals of the certified inspectors, a finding that suggests paperwork was deliberately falsified to cover up the illegitimate checks. Officials are still investigating the sixth location.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa said earlier this week the recall will cost the company around ¥25 billion ($220 million). The automaker is also reinspecting 34,000 vehicles held in inventory at factories and dealerships around the country before registering and selling them.

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