Business / Corporate

Subaru recalls 395,000 vehicles over inspection scandal, including the 86

Kyodo

Subaru Corp. issued a recall for some 395,000 vehicles on Thursday after it was revealed that the carmaker had allowed unauthorized workers to carry out final inspections at two of its plants for more than 30 years.

The recall affects all nine of the company’s models, including the 86, a sports car it makes for Toyota Motor Corp.

The firm had initially estimated that 255,000 cars would need to be recalled, but that rose after it encountered difficulty identifying which vehicles had received unauthorized inspections.

Subaru has admitted it allowed uncertified staff to carry out final tests at two of its plants in Gunma Prefecture, violating transport ministry requirements. The ministry, which inspected Subaru’s plants in October, instructed the company to report preventive measures in about a month.

Last week, Subaru downgraded its full-year group earnings forecast for the business year through next March, saying it expects to spend ¥10 billion ($88 million) dealing with the problem.

Subaru’s troubles come as a string of industrial scandals have tarnished Japan’s reputation for quality. The revelations follow a similar case at Nissan Motor Co., where unauthorized workers were found to have conducted final inspections. Nissan halted shipments and operations at all six domestic plants in October after finding that improper checks continued after a recall and its claims the process had been improved.

Meanwhile, Kobe Steel Ltd. has been grappling with a fabrication scandal after admitting to falsifying specification data for aluminum, copper and other products supplied to 525 firms.

Last week, it said an internal probe found its closed corporate culture and overemphasis on deadlines were behind the misconduct.