YOKOHAMA -- Another flaw has been found in the safety dogma of the Japanese car industry. Nissan Motor announced a recall of 1.21 million cars, of 24 models, already shipped in Japan. Straightening out the issue will cost over 25 billion yen ($220 million).
Faulty inspections led to the major stumble by one of Japan's largest carmakers. "Almost all the cars produced for the Japanese market from October 2014 to September 2017 are subject to re-inspection," said Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa, at the press conference Oct. 2.
"We are also considering monetary compensation and consolation to the users," Saikawa said. The projected 25 billion yen cost to tackle the issue accounts for about 5% of Nissan's 2017 operating profit forecast.
On-site investigations on Sept. 18 by officials from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism revealed that final inspections at Nissan factories were done by unqualified employees before the vehicles were shipped.
Nissan has not yet determined the cause or motive behind the faulty inspections. "A full investigation will be conducted until I get results that convince me," Saikawa said. "Investigation will take all of October at least."
Nissan has suspended shipments of new cars, including the revamped Leaf, its signature electric car, since the issue was recognized. After re-inspecting the cars, Nissan plans to resume registering and shipping by tomorrow.
Saikawa, who is also chairman of Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, has been eager to gain back the Japanese car industry's reputation, which was tarnished by several recalls announced by competitors last year. With Nissan joining them, Saikawa said, "We are sincerely sorry."
Nissan still hopes to participate in the one-week Tokyo Motor Show 2017 starting later this month, as Saikawa described it as "an event to bring excitement to the Japanese car industry."