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Subaru seeks to improve final vehicle inspection procedures after scandal

ABR Staff Writer Published 21 December 2017

Automaker Subaru has released third party investigation report on the company’s practice of using uncertified inspectors during the final checking of its vehicles.

The third party investigation was carried out a team of lawyers specializing in malpractice.

The report stated that the practice of uncertified inspectors for conducting final tests on vehicles dates back to 1980s and it was prevalent in 1990s.

Apart from this, the company’s staff concealed the uncertified staff whenever state officials visited the factory. This has raised doubts on whether the practice was not deliberate.

The report also found that there were malpractices in the certification process itself, where answers were leaked to the candidates even before the necessary probationary period had passed.

The company’s staff, as per the report, had a disregard for government regulations and there was a general belief that even uncertified workers were capable of conducting inspections on the vehicles.

Last month, the company recalled nearly 395,000 vehicles from its Japan market and it included nine models, along with a sport car model that it manufactures for Toyota, but overseas vehicles have not been affected. Cost of the recall is estimated to be JPY20bn ($178m).

Subaru has admitted that the company’s work culture lacked adequate self-awareness about the public nature of final vehicle inspections, vehicle type approval system and reliability expected by automobile users with respect to final vehicle inspections.

The company said: “Subaru’s top management will take the lead in engaging all of its workplaces and changing the awareness of all Subaru employees by explaining the public nature and importance of final vehicle inspections and the necessity of improving compliance awareness.

“The most important task of Subaru’s management will be to thoroughly carry out the recurrence prevention measures, with all employees working collectively under the responsibility of the management team, and to thereby restore the trust that the company has lost.”

Image: Subaru headquarters in Ebisu, Japan. Photo: Courtesy of Qurren/Wikipedia.org.