Nissan Recalling All Cars Sold in Japan Over the Past 3 Years

Because of an apparent oversight in vehicle inspection, all of its cars in Japan must undergo recertification.

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Nissan is recalling more than 1.2 million passenger cars sold in Japan, the automaker announced Monday. 

The vehicles, which have been sold since October of 2014, underwent a final vehicle inspections by unauthorized technicians.

After a meeting with the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Nissan was informed that part of its final vehicle inspection process was performed by technicians who were not authorized by Nissan to complete the checks. Because of this, Nissan has issued a voluntary recall of 1.21 million vehicles sold in Japan over the past three years.

Nissan said that the process has been tweaked to become complaint again as of Sept. 29 and has asked a third-party investigators to step in and determine how the process fell out of regulation.

In addition to the 1.2 million cars sold in Japan, this event brings into question the remaining 560,000 vehicles that were exported from Japan to other markets in North America and Europe. 

"There is no plan to expand the recall to other markets," a Nissan spokesperson told The Drive, as the recall was voluntary to remain complaint with the vehicle approval process for the Japanese market. 

In Japan, vehicle manufacturers perform the first registration for the vehicle. Owners are then responsible for renewing every three years going forward. As a result of the recent oversight, Nissan initially said that it would suspend the registration of nearly 60,000 vehicles. This number appears to have been given before the inspection problem manifested into the 1.2 million vehicles being recalled as of now.

"We must take the registration framework and procedures seriously, regardless of how busy we may be or how short-staffed we may be," said Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa, "We apologize for the inconvenience caused to our customers."

This recall will cost Nissan an estimated ¥25 billion ($222 million) in order to recertify the vehicles. During the inspection process, vehicles will be subject to the same tests which they would undergo leaving the factory, including acceleration, braking, and steering checks. Fortunately for owners, it does not seem like this process will leave them without a vehicle for an extended period of time. 

It's still unclear what exact actions Nissan plans to take should a vehicle be out of compliance.