Nissan announced last month that it was forced to stop production in Japan, following the discovery that vehicle checks were being carried out by unqualified and uncertified member of staff. Nissan realized in September that the technicians were not registered to perform quality or safety checks on vehicles. It also admits that production continued in its plants for several weeks after the breach of safety regulations was discovered.
Production is now suspended in all 6 of Japan’s Nissan plants. A company statement from Nissan admits to the issue, saying that “regards the recurrence of this issue at domestic plants — despite the corrective measures taken — as critical. The investigation team will continue to thoroughly investigate the issue and determine measures to prevent recurrence.” Nissan also insists that this will only affect cars which were sold in the Japanese market, and not on cars which were due to be exported to other countries.
Nissan is trying hard to rectify this error, with Hiroto Saikawa – President and Chief Executive Officer of Nissan claiming in a recent interview that “The existing management’s responsibility now is to prevent recurrence and to normalise operation, and put the company back on a growth track. If I see any mistakes I’d like to take drastic measures. This is my job and I’m the one to lead it.”
Nissan Executive Vice President Daniele Schillaci has also apologized for the illegal and possibly unsafe inspections in a statement. He said “I would like to take this opportunity to express a sincere apology for our recent issues,” he said at the Nissan Motor Co. booth at the Tokyo Motor Show. “We sincerely regret any inconvenience and concern this has caused our valued customers.”
Nissan is recalling over 1 million of its vehicles, which will have to be re inspected to ensure their quality and safety. So far, no safety or quality issues have been reported in any of the vehicles which have been recalled. Despite the action the company has taken, share in Nissan have fallen by 3% since the stop in production was announced. Nissan’s sales have also fallen by an estimated 43% in the month of October when compared with sales at the same time last year.
This couldn’t have come at a worse time for Nissan, who have just launched the newest model of their flagship electric vehicle, the Leaf. The new model was release on October 2nd, and was predicted to be one of the best selling electric vehicles to date. Nissan has now advised its customers that all new Leafs will now need to be recalled, along with other models, following the scandal.