Nissan confesses to more testing misconduct for vehicles sold in Japan

New Nissan Z-car concept

Nissan Motor stated on Monday it had improperly evaluated exhaust emissions and fuel economy for 19 vehicle models sold in Japan, the second case in less than one year where misconduct has been found in its inspection processes.

Nissan stated it had discovered sample test environments for emissions and fuel economy in final vehicle tests at most of its factories in Japan were not in line with regional standards, and that the reports were based on altered evaluations.

The incident is the recent in a growing list of data tampering in the country which has tarnished the image of the country’s manufacturing industry, noted for high-quality, efficient production.

The recent misconduct does not impact vehicles exported overseas, as it applies to standards intended specifically for the Japanese market, Nissan stated.

Shares in the Japanese automaker closed at 5 percent at their lowest in more than a year. The news followed the close of trading, but the company had stated earlier it would make an announcement regarding its emissions tests, sparking concerns.

The admission follow Nissan statement in October that for decades uncertified inspectors had signed off on final checks for vehicles sold in Japan, causing a domestic recall of 1.2 million vehicles.

“This is a deep and serious issue for our company,” stated Chief Operating Officer Yasuhiro Yamauchi.

“We acknowledge that our compliance awareness remains lacking,” he stated, adding the company would perform an investigation into the issue to find out the root causes, which it anticipates will take a month or more.

The issue was discovered during voluntary compliance checks it started following last year’s vehicle inspection scandal, and impacts models including the Note, the subcompact hatchback which is automaker’s top-selling model in Japan, and the Juke SUV crossover.

Of around 2,200 sample tests carried out at six plants producing Nissan vehicles, 1,200 at five locations revealed some form of falsification, Nissan stated.

The automaker discovered incidents in which vehicle driving speeds and durations, in addition to external temperatures, had not been in line with Japanese regulations for emissions testing, whereas testing equipment had not been calibrated correctly.

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