Nissan has announced it has halted production at all six of its assembly plants in Japan. The suspension comes amid an inspection scandal, leading the company to recall all 1.2 million vehicles it has sold in its home country for the last three years.
During the downtime at its Japanese plants, the company is reconfiguring the inspection lines at each. This comes after Nissan admitted it had uncertified technicians handling final vehicle inspections at its assembly plants, causing quality defects to go to market in Japan. The uncertified staff continued to serve as inspectors, even after the issue came to light over a month ago.
Japan’s transport ministry requires certified technicians to sign off on every new vehicle produced for the domestic market. The ministry determined that Nissan’s uncertified technicians were using certification stamps to sign off on Nissan vehicles, a violation of the ministry’s regulations.
The violations have caused Nissan to recall every vehicle it has produced for the Japanese market in the last three years to re-inspect them. Specifically, the company has to inspect the steering-radius, braking and acceleration of each vehicle. In addition to the 1.2 million recalled, Nissan now says there is about 34,000 additional vehicles that need inspection.
Nissan says the recall will cost the company about $222 million.
Despite the disruption in production for Japanese market vehicles, Nissan says it will continue to produce vehicles in Japan for export during the downtime. This means products such as the Nissan Rogue will continue being produced for the U.S. market.