• Kyodo

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In a rare move, the transport ministry recommended Monday that a court fine Nissan Motor Co. for failing to heed warnings last year to stop using uncertified factory staff to inspect its cars.

The ministry ordered Nissan in September to correct its business practices after it was found that the automaker had violated regulations on final checks of new vehicles for the domestic market, but Nissan ignored the directive for about three weeks.

Nissan could be fined up to ¥300,000 per vehicle in question.

The ministry believes uncertified staff at a Nissan factory in Tochigi Prefecture carried out 107 final checks even after receiving the business improvement order, meaning the fine could reach ¥32.1 million.

The Yokohama District Court will decide whether to fine Nissan for continuing to allow the vehicle checks by junior inspectors who had not yet completed the company’s certification process.

The ministry did not file a criminal complaint against Nissan over the inspections.

Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa visited transport minister Keiichi Ishii on Monday and was advised verbally and in writing that the company would remain “under (government) surveillance for some time.”

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