Business / Corporate

Subaru finds more cars affected by data fabrication, leading to shake-up of top management

Kyodo

Subaru Corp. said Tuesday it has found new cases of product data fabrication, bringing the total number of affected vehicles to 1,551, up from the previously reported 903, and prompting a revamp of its top management.

Yasuyuki Yoshinaga will step down as Subaru’s president and also as CEO to take responsibility for the inspection scandal. He will become chairman without the right to represent the company and will focus on dealing with the misconduct.

The post of CEO will now be filled by Tomomi Nakamura, the incoming president, the automaker said. Their appointments will be effective June 22.

“I sincerely apologize for causing further concern among our customers,” Yoshinaga told a news conference in Tokyo. As for whether there was other malpractice at the company, Yoshinaga said he could not say with confidence that further cases would not emerge.

In early March, Subaru said Yoshinaga would remain as CEO to lead efforts to strengthen quality control, while naming Nakamura as its new president.

The automaker said in a report submitted to the government in April that mileage and emissions data for new cars were systematically rigged at one of its domestic plants and that the malpractice may have started around 2002.

The new cases were found when the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism searched the headquarters of Subaru in mid-May to look into the data falsification and check if a set of preventive steps was adequate.

Following the discovery of new cases after four months of investigation, Keiichi Ishii, the transport minister, said he has to “question the attitude” of Subaru in trying to find out what really happened.

In the newly found cases, Subaru ignored the deviation of vehicle speed and room humidity levels from usual standards when it measured the fuel economy and other aspects of the vehicles, company officials said.

Subaru had admitted to data rigging during the final inspection process for new cars at the plant in the city of Ota in Gunma Prefecture.