Nissan halts domestic production after improper inspections

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As a result of the findings Nissan chose to yesterday suspend vehicle production for the Japan market at all Nissan and Nissan Shatai plants in Japan. In addition to the 1.2 million recalled, Nissan now says there is about 34,000 additional vehicles that need inspection. Under Japanese rules, vehicles are required to pass a final certification before they leave the factory, to ensure they conform to specifications registered with regulators for each model.

Keiichi Ishii, Japan's transport minister, said on Friday that Nissan's inspection of its assembly factories was ongoing, but it did not know how long the inspection malpractices had been allowed to continue.

"As previously announced, on September 18, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation notified Nissan that in the final vehicle inspection process, certain checks were carried out by technicians not properly registered to perform those duties under Nissan's own processes", the company said in a statement.

It is considering re-inspecting the unregistered vehicles at dealers throughout Japan, and submitting a noncompliance recall report for registered vehicles. "But we were not careful enough about properly following regulations", Saikawa said, adding that he believes that safety was not compromised for finished cars.

A leading Japanese steel producer announced early this week that it had falsified data relating to strength and durability of certain aluminum and copper pieces used in auto and plane manufacture, .

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The Nissan inspection crisis closely follows an unrelated but significant scandal that has engulfed Kobe Steel, which supplies metal parts to multiple automakers, in which metal strength certification data was fabricated for a number of years.

Nissan shares fell after the Japanese carmaker said it was to suspend all domestic production until it had got to the bottom of a worsening inspection scandal.

The automaker's mismanagement resulted in a recall of 1.16 million vehicles manufactured between January 2014 and last September, with about ¥25 billion in related costs.

"Nissan regards the recurrence of this issue at domestic plants - despite the corrective measures taken - as critical". They were asked to hold and turn the steering wheels of finished vehicles while certified staff checked readings on testing equipment.

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