Nissan is Resuming Production of Its Japanese Vehicles After Inspection Controversy

Despite regulation abnormalities, Japanese officials have green lit the automaker to begin manufacturing vehicles again.

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After a long slew of controversy surrounding the improper certification of its vehicles, Nissan has announced that it would finally be resuming production of vehicles destined for sale in Japan.

In September, Nissan became aware that it was violating Japanese law which required all vehicles to undergo a tedious final vehicle inspection before being registered for sale domestically in Japan. Employees in training to perform final vehicle checks were improperly utilizing their mentor's stamps to approve the certification of vehicles, despite them only being in training for the position and not yet qualified. This procedure was found to be out of compliance by the governing body, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) and brought to Nissan's attention.

Initially, the finding resulted in Nissan recalling all domestically produced vehicles that were manufactured over the past three years. The problem was believed to have been rectified, however, the automaker soon learned its processes were still against regulation at select plants, prompting the company to take action and suspend all Japan-bound vehicle production at six different facilities.

Nissan has reported that it has worked closely with MLIT to ensure that its vehicle inspections are in compliance. After making the necessary corrections in documentation and standard operating procedure, MLIT signed off on the approval for the automaker's process, sparking new life into the production line.

The third-party investigators revealed that Nissan's internal procedures and ultimately found that the manufacturer was out of compliance with governmental requirements for nearly 40 years without noticing, bringing into question how many vehicles were affected. Despite the number of recalled vehicles, Nissan is ready to wrap things up and start building cars again. Aside from Nissan's regulatory misconduct, the investigators determined that Nissan's training on vehicle inspection and registration was not in compliance with regulations. Nissan is planning to take corrective measures to ensure that vehicles will be inspected properly, including re-educating and examining existing employees.

Even though Nissan is out of the dog house, fellow automaker Subaru has yet to further address allegations regarding its involvement in similar practices. Thankfully for the automakers, the MLIT was able to rectify these issues in a timely manner to minimize costs to the businesses and wait times for the consumer.