Nissan is recalling 150,000 vehicles in Japan after determining they did not undergo proper inspections before being shipped from the manufacturing plant. Nissan has had several brake-related recalls recently.
A significant part of the testing failure involved brakes. Although details are still forthcoming, the improper testing recalls a recent Subaru recall. In the Subaru case, testers applied the parking brake and pedal brake in tandem when they were supposed to be testing one or the other.
The full press release is below:
YOKOHAMA, Japan (Dec. 7, 2018) – Since October 2017, after the discovery of nonconformities in the final vehicle inspection process (kanken) at plants in Japan, Nissan has submitted recall notifications to the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation (MLIT) on Oct. 6 and 25, 2017, and Jan. 12 (an amendment to the notification issued on Oct. 6 and 25, 2017) and June 29, 2018. A total of 1,143,540 affected vehicles have been recalled across 42 models.
Following these actions, Nissan has newly found several nonconformities that may have caused inaccurate pass/fail judgments during the inspection process. Nissan will promptly prepare for recall procedures in Japan, and notify MLIT of its recall plan as soon as possible.
This recall action is limited to Japan.
Background and new findings
- In November 2017, Nissan announced the results of its investigation into nonconformities in the kanken and the countermeasures the company was implementing. The company also started companywide compliance enhancement activities.
- In April 2018, as part of its ongoing efforts to ensure thorough compliance at all of the company’s production facilities in Japan, Nissan established the Japan Manufacturing & SCM Operation Division, which includes teams dedicated to regulations and legal affairs.
- During the course of voluntary checks, Nissan discovered additional instances of misconduct related to exhaust emissions and fuel economy tests (July 2018) and precision testing (September 2018).
- Nissan has been ensuring full implementation of countermeasures and proper understanding of correct procedures by inspection staff. In the course of further voluntary checks, the company was able to verify verbal accounts related to several improper acts that may have caused inaccurate pass/fail judgments in some testing processes for vehicles produced at the Oppama Plant and Auto Works Kyoto.
- On December 13, Nissan will issue a notification regarding the recall of additional vehicles due to the following nonconformities.
Newly found nonconformities in the final vehicle inspection process
|New findings||Production plant|
|1. Use of the parking brake lever when testing the rear wheel braking force||Oppama Plant|
|2. Use of the brake pedal when testing the parking braking force||
|3. In order to meet company standards, turning back the steering wheel when testing the steering angle||Oppama Plant|
|4. In order to meet company standards, turning the steering wheel to the right or left when starting to test the steering angle||Oppama Plant|
|5. Taking measurements as soon as vehicle speed reaches 40 km/h, instead of maintaining vehicle speed at 40 km/h||Oppama Plant|
|6. Carrying out the sideslip test at a speed of approximately 6-8 km/h, instead of the company standard of 5 km/h||Oppama Plant|
Models and number of vehicles to be recalled
|Plants||Affected models||Production period|
|Oppama Plant||Note (E12)||Nov. 7, 2017, to
Oct. 25, 2018
(On a line-off basis, vehicles produced on Oct. 17 and earlier)
|Auto Works Kyoto||Atlas (F24)|
|Isuzu Elf (F24) and Journey (W41)|
|Mitsubishi Fuso Canter Guts (F24)|
|Number* of affected vehicles||Approx. 150,000|
*Exact figure now under investigation
Causes and enhanced measures to prevent recurrence of nonconformities
Nissan places high importance on implementing the 77 countermeasures outlined in its Sept. 26, 2018, announcement, “Regarding measures to address misconduct in sample testing within final vehicle inspections in Japan.” The newly found instances are viewed as having resulted from ambiguity regarding final vehicle inspection procedures and a lack of understanding of noncompliant practices. Therefore, Nissan intends to additionally take the following measures and enhance its ongoing initiatives.
1. Widespread dissemination of information regarding noncompliant practices
- Noncompliant practices will be listed in the standard operation manual. In standard work, inspectors will be required to confirm and be retrained on noncompliant practices.
- Education on noncompliant practices will be added to training content within the process to register final inspectors.
- The monitoring system for the entire kanken will be reviewed. Compliance with standard operation procedures as well as inappropriate operations, including the additional monitoring of noncompliant practices.
2. Enhancement of checking function
- The work of inspectors will be observed and advisors for the inspectors will be newly stationed on the inspection line.
- Cameras to monitor the implementation status of standard operation procedures will be installed on the inspection line.
3. Physical measures to prevent recurrence of nonconformities
Recurrence prevention measures
|Nonconformity with kanken||Measure|
|1. Use of the parking brake lever when testing the rear wheel braking force
2. Use of the brake pedal when testing the parking braking force
|– Addition of a controller to the brake tester. When the parking brake and the main brakes (front wheels and rear wheels) are operated simultaneously during brake-force testing, the inspection is automatically voided.
– Inclusion of a stopper for the brake tester. The device is aimed to prevent testing results from becoming inconsistent when the position of the vehicle shifts on top of the tester.
|3. Turning back the steering wheel when testing the steering angle
4. Turning the steering wheel to the right or left when starting testing the steering angle
|– A review of test specifications for the steering angle testing. Company standards for the steering angle testing will be modified, with the aim of making the testing valid and consistent with the designed value of the vehicle
– Addition of a controlling function to the steering angle measurement device to prevent inspections from starting when wheel is already fully turned
|5. Taking measurements as soon as vehicle speed reaches 40 km/h, instead of maintaining vehicle speed at 40 km/h||– Modification of the speed assessment program. If the cord is pulled before a speed of 40 km/h has been maintained for 1 second, the inspection is voided.|
|6. Carrying out the sideslip test at a speed of approximately 6-8 km/h, instead of the company standard of 5 km/h||– Installation of a lamp to indicate whether the vehicle speed when passing over the tester is within the specified range|
Nissan regrets any inconvenience or concern this has caused to its valued customers and other stakeholders in Japan.
Nissan will continue to carry out comprehensive checks of frameworks, organizations and processes related to regulatory compliance, within functions not limited to those directly involved in manufacturing. Strict adherence to compliance is a top priority for Nissan’s management, and if issues are discovered, appropriate measures will be taken. Nissan is committed to promoting and enforcing compliance and awareness thereof in all operational areas.
Through steadfast implementation of these initiatives, Nissan will work diligently to regain the trust of its valued customers and stakeholders in Japan.