October 28, 2017
TOKYO- Subaru Corp. said Friday that unqualified workers engaged in final vehicle inspections at a domestic factory for over 30 years, dealing an additional blow to the Japanese manufacturing industry's reputation for product quality.
Subaru will recall about 255,000 vehicles handled by uncertified inspectors. The announcement followed a similar scandal involving Nissan Motor Co.
The misconduct "continued from more than 30 years ago," Subaru President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga told a press conference. "We sincerely apologize."
The automaker said it detected the irregularities on Oct. 3, during an internal investigation. On Sept. 29, the transport ministry instructed domestic automakers to conduct such probes after Nissan's unauthorized vehicle inspections came to light.
Around eight unqualified workers took part in inspections of finished vehicles at Subaru's mainstay factory in Ota, Gunma Prefecture, on average in the past four years.
The company's rules oblige workers to experience vehicle inspections before becoming qualified as inspectors, running counter to state regulations that allow only qualified workers to participate in final inspections.
Subaru will revamp the rules to prevent such irregularities. At the press conference, Yoshinaga said he feels strongly responsible for the matter, while indicating his intention to stay on as company chief.
The company is expected to file for a vehicle recall when it reports the internal investigation results to the ministry on Monday.
Subject to the recall will be vehicles produced over the three years through Oct. 3. Recall costs are seen exceeding 5 billion yen. Jiji Press
TOKYO- Subaru Corp. President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga explains about its final car inspection scandal at its headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, 27 October 2017. Japanese automaker Subaru may recall about 300,000 cars including OEM delivers to Toyota Motor. Jiji Press
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