Nissan Continued Using Uncertified Inspectors After Misconduct Exposed

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
nissan continued using uncertified inspectors after misconduct exposed

Nissan Motor Co. has recalled 1.2 million new vehicles it sold in Japan over the last three years after discovering vehicle checks were not being performed by certified technicians. After a lengthy internal investigation, the company stated it continued to conduct unaccredited final checks as recently as last week.

News of the discovery came on Wednesday, more than two weeks after Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa publicly stated only certified technicians had conducted checks since September 20th. Despite attempts to remedy the widespread issue at its Japanese factories, there were at least two technicians lacking the necessary training and credentials at its Shonan Plant located in Tsutsumicho, near Hiratsuka City.

According to Reuters, the company estimates roughly 3,800 vehicles were affected. It temporarily suspended all production at the facility before resuming assembly on October 16th.

Officials from Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport inspected Nissan’s factories earlier this month. There, they found names of several certified technicians used on paperwork to sign off on final vehicle checks — inspections that had actually been conducted by non-certified employees.

While it did not state how many more may have been involved in continuing factory misconduct, the ministry found phony stamps being used at five of six Nissan factories earlier this month — resulting in a recall of 386,000 passenger vehicles from this year. It has requested Nissan report the measures taken to prevent a recurrence of the problem by the end of October.

“It’s extremely regrettable, causing anxiety for users and shaking the foundation of the certification system,” said Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Keiichi Ishii.

The ministry stated it will continue to investigate just how common the practice was at Nissan factories and who allowed it to continue. Meanwhile, the automaker has recalled the entirety of its domestic product, promising to conduct re-inspections (at a cost of around $302 million).

[Image: Nissan]

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  • Erikstrawn Erikstrawn on Oct 19, 2017

    Is this a Japanese government requirement, or are these just Nissan's internal inspectors? I know that in the aircraft industry in the US, every part has to have a certificate of conformance from a qualified technician stating that it's airworthy. Does Japan have similar requirements for cars? Does the US have any requirement like this for cars? If it's just Nissan's internal inspectors, it's a bit less scandalous. Also, I work next door to my organization's training manager. Keeping up with everybody's varied certifications can be a massive undertaking.

  • Thegamper Thegamper on Oct 19, 2017

    I bet it is a situation where the "uncertified" inspectors knew perfectly well how to perform the job but simply lacked appropriate government sanctioned certifications. Sort of like a highly regarded doctor or lawyer who didn't pay his annual license dues and suddenly it becomes malpractice for that professional to perform their job. In many areas, like medicine and law, certifications serve an important purpose, others, it is just a way for members of an occupation to keep people from entering said trade. Ill go out on a limb and say that the "certified" inspector probably doesn't require a college degree or doctorate.

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