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Nissan records suggest cover-up on inspection scandal

Official documents were stamped with the seals of certified workers

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa bows after a news conference in Yokohama, Japan, on Oct. 2. (Photo by Kosaku Mimura)

TOKYO -- While unauthorized workers were doing the final safety checks of Nissan Motor cars in Japan, inspection papers were being stamped with the seals of certified employees, The Nikkei learned on Wednesday.

Nissan announced last week that unauthorized personnel had been handling the final inspections. Japan's transport ministry said it will conduct a probe into the matter.

According to the ministry and Nissan, certified employees are supposed to check the brakes and lights during these inspections.

The government has notified automakers that the road transport vehicle act requires them to use certified personnel to do these checks.

Even though this work was being done by uncertified workers, the seals of qualified personnel were ending up in inspection papers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Nissan was using unauthorized personal to do the checks at all six of its plants in Japan. The ministry conducted on-site investigations at four of the six plants from Sept. 18 to Friday.

The inspected sites include Nissan's Oppama "global mother plant" in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, just south of Tokyo.

A Nissan representative said the automaker is investigating how the inspections were performed, including how documents were prepared.

(Nikkei)

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