The unauthorized inspections have apparently been going on for over 30 years.
Fresh on the heels of Nissan’s inspection faux pas, Subaru now says it too failed to comply with inspection regulations set forth by Japan’s transport ministry. Automotive News reports that the automaker admitted it allowed non-certified technicians to handle final vehicle inspections at the Gunma factory complex, which is located north of Tokyo. The admission comes just days before a deadline set forth by the transport ministry to Japanese automakers, requiring the companies to conduct internal investigations and report finding by the end of October. Subaru is set to submit a detailed report next week.
Whereas Nissan seemed to beat around the bush on the subject when the story broke, Subaru has apparently owned the misstep while claiming ignorance. Speaking at a news conference, Subaru CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said the automaker used the same inspection process for “more than 30 years without realizing that it did not meet ministry requirements.” In a nutshell, those requirements are that all cars sold in the Japanese market be given a final inspection at the factory, with the work performed by a technician properly certified to conduct it.
As a result, Subaru is now considering a recall of approximately 255,000 vehicles that were built at the Gunma plant for the Japanese market. The recall would be limited to Legacy and Forester models, which pales in comparison to the 1.2 million vehicles Nissan has recalled for reinspection. Last week it was revealed that Nissan may have been non-compliant with the transport ministry inspection requirements for over 20 years. While the final inspections don’t necessarily play a role in quality – and they play no role at all in cars built for markets outside Japan – it’s certainly been a costly mistake for Nissan. Now, it looks like Subaru could be shelling out cash for the non-compliance problem as well.
Source: Automotive News