Subaru's board has approved the replacement of CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga with Tomomi Nakamura in the wake of an inspections scandal and compliance failings that have hit the company in Japan.

Subaru was caught up in an inspections scandal that also hit other Japanese companies last year - including Nissan - when it was revealed that uncertified staff had carried out final tests of new cars for the Japanese domestic market over decades. The faulty inspections violated transport ministry norms and eventually led to the recall of 395,000 vehicles.

Yasuyuki Yoshinaga stays with the company however, becoming director and chairman with responsibility for compliance and quality.

Last month Subaru's compliance woes worsened when Japanese government officials searched the headquarters of Subaru after the automaker admitted it had falsified mileage and emissions data on new vehicles at one of its domestic plants.

At the end of April Subaru reported to Japanese authorities it had systematically falsified fuel economy and emissions data in the final inspection process at its Ota plant in Gunma Prefecture Gunma for at least six years, until as recently as the end of last year.

The company also said that due to a lack of earlier records, the fraud may have taken place for much longer - possibly even since as far back as 2002.

Investigators from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism also plan to question senior officials at the automaker as part of probe before deciding what penalties to impose.

In a public statement, Subaru's management acknowledged it needed to reform its corporate culture and that "management and employees will work collectively to restore lost trust".