Subaru Corp. said Tuesday a third-party investigation has found that overconfidence in the firm's technical skills and a lack of respect for regulations led to its decades-long use of uncertified inspectors for state-mandated vehicle checks.

Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, the automaker's president, submitted a report compiled by a team of lawyers on the malpractice, which triggered a recall of around 395,000 vehicles, to the transport ministry.

Workers at two factories in Gunma Prefecture were allowed for more than 30 years to conduct last-stage safety checks on cars coming off the assembly line without clearing an in-company vetting process. The probe found that the practice may have begun as far back as the 1980s and was widespread by the 1990s.