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October 29, 2017

Subaru Admits to Lax Car Inspections at Japanese Assembly Plants

Subaru is the latest carmaker to get embroiled in a scandal involving lax inspection procedure for the Japanese domestic market. After Nissan is set to recall 1.2 million vehicles, Subaru may have to recall 255,000 Legacy, Forester, and Impreza models at the cost of 5 billion yen (~ P 2.2 billion) for the Japanse market.

The carmaker said that for more than 30 years, final inspections of new vehicles at its main assembly complex in Gunma were sometimes conducted by inspectors who were not qualified as certified technicians, violating Japanese transport ministry requirements.

In a news conference, Subaru Chief Executive Officer Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said that inspectors in training had been approving the final checks under the names of their trainers—a process the automaker has done for over 30 years.

The issue was uncovered during an internal inspection ordered by the Japanese government after Nissan revealed last month of similar violations on inspections at its Japanese factories.

The extra step does not affect product quality and is not needed for vehicles exported overseas.

Yoshinaga said that while the issue was unlikely to affect sales overseas, he is “very concerned” about the impact the issue would have on brand image.

Toyota, Honda, Mazda, and other Japanese automakers said they have reported to the Japanese government and found no issues with their respective inspections.

With reports from Reuters

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