Nissan to recall 150,000 cars due to improper checks

Incorrect tests were carried out on brakes, speedometers and other systems before shipment at its domestic assembly plant

A Nissan Motor Co. Leaf electric vehicle is displayed outside the company's headquarters in Yokohama, Japan, on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Nissan's independent board members met on Nov. 4 to select Carlos Ghosn's successor as chairman, with their choice to replace the arrested car titan an indicator of the direction the automaker will likely take in its alliance with Renault SA. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Nissan announced plans to recall approximately 150,000 vehicles owing to improper tests on new units, dealing a fresh blow to the Japanese car giant following the shock arrest of former chairman Carlos Ghosn.

"Nissan has recently found several non-conformities that may have caused inaccurate pass/fail judgements during the inspection process," the company said in a statement, adding it would "promptly" recall as many as 150,000 units in Japan.

It confirmed that improper tests were carried out on brakes, speedometers and other systems before shipment at its domestic assembly plant.

The recall will cover 10 models including Note and Leaf electric vehicles as well as March and Cube compact cars produced between November 2017 and October this year.

The manufacturer was forced to recall more than one million vehicles last year after admitting staff without proper authorisation had conducted final inspections on some units intended for the domestic market before they were shipped to dealers.

In a separate case that erupted in July, Nissan admitted data on exhaust emissions and fuel economy had been deliberately "altered", hampering its efforts to recover trust after the inspection scandal.


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Asked if excessive cost-cutting measures under Mr Ghosn have resulted in the improper checks, vice president Seiji Honda said: "In a way, maybe."

But he added: "We have not established any link between that and our latest problem with inspections."

The latest recall represents another blow to the company, which has been rocked since Ghosn was arrested on allegations he under-reported his salary by millions of dollars over five years.

Tokyo prosecutors have decided to indict Nissan as well as Mr Ghosn and another executive as early as next week over alleged financial misconduct.

The Nikkei business daily reported Friday that Mr Ghosn and Mr Kelly would likely be indicted on those allegations as soon as Monday, when their current detention period expires.

In Japan, Ghosn was celebrated as a charismatic business leader who saved Nissan from the brink of failure and rebuilt it as a money-maker in the alliance with Renault.

But since his shock arrest, he has been removed from the boards of Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors.

Nissan has begun the process of choosing Ghosn's successor, with the final decision expected on December 17.