The automaker has suspended production for Japan which must undergo a specific final check procedure

The automaker has suspended production for Japan which must undergo a specific final check procedure

Nissan Motor announced last night it would suspend vehicle production for the Japanese market at all Nissan and Nissan Shatai plants in Japan.

This followed on from the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation (MLIT) announcing on September final vehicle inspections  were carried out by technicians not properly registered to perform those duties under the automaker's own processes. Though Nissan had taken corrective action by 20 September, nonetheless, by 18 October, the investigation team (led by a third party) discovered that at its Oppama, Tochigi and the Nissan Kyushu plants, certain parts of the final inspection process were still being carried out by technicians not properly registered to perform those duties for vehicles for the Japan market.

"Nissan regrets any inconvenience and concern this has caused to its valued customers and other stakeholders in Japan," the automaker said in a statement.

The automaker said the plants had transferred final vehicle inspection check items from the final vehicle inspection line to other lines such as the marketability inspection and the offline inspection.

As a result, employees who were not internally registered as final vehicle inspectors performed final vehicle inspections.

Nissan said the final vehicle inspection line would now be configured as originally submitted to MLIT, consolidating all final inspection processes.

The Final inspection process will be separated from other processes and only internally registered final vehicle inspectors will have access to the final inspection line.

It is considering re-inspecting the unregistered vehicles at dealers throughout Japan, and submitting a noncompliance recall report for registered vehicles.

Approximately 34,000 vehicles produced between 20 September and 18 October, including those produced for other makers, will be subject to re-inspection.

"Nissan regards the recurrence of this issue at domestic plants — despite the corrective measures taken — as critical. The investigation team will continue to thoroughly investigate the issue and determine measures to prevent recurrence. Details of the above will be included in the final report to be published on a later date," the statement added.

"We have done something inexcusable to everyone who trusted in our efforts to prevent a recurrence," Hiroto Saikawa, Nissan's chief executive, was quoted as saying said at a news conference by the New York Times.

"I apologize deeply."

Nissan said at the beginning of October it would recall 1.2m vehicles sold in Japan after the government officials discovered the flaws in the company's post production inspection procedures.

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.