"We have done something inexcusable to everyone who trusted in our efforts to prevent a recurrence," Hiroto Saikawa, Nissan's chief executive, said at a news conference. "I apologize deeply."
Nissan began recalling 1.2 million vehicles from the Japanese market this month after regulators faulted it for allowing workers who lacked required credentials to certify the cars. Under Japanese rules, vehicles are required to pass a final certification before they leave the factory, to ensure they conform to specifications registered with regulators for each model.
Only workers who have had special training and testing are supposed to certify vehicles, but Nissan said unqualified employees had been doing the work for the past three years. The company said it would have the recalled vehicles recertified by properly authorized technicians. No accidents or faults had been linked to the problem, according to Nissan.
Despite the admonition from transportation regulators that led to that recall, Saikawa said that the practice of using unqualified inspectors had continued at four of Nissan’s six factories in Japan. Production at all six factories would be suspended, he said, until Nissan could ensure it had enough credentialed workers to carry out the checks.
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