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Subaru Recalls 400,000 Cars in Japan

The recall concerns nine models, including a sports car that Subaru manufactures for Toyota, but vehicles sold overseas reportedly were not affected.

TOKYO — Subaru recalled nearly 400,000 vehicles from its domestic market on Thursday due to an inspection scandal, the latest to hit the beleaguered Japanese car industry.

The recall concerns nine models, including a sports car that Subaru manufactures for Toyota, but vehicles sold overseas were not affected, a spokesman told AFP.

Subaru admitted last month that uncertified staff had conducted vehicle inspections at two factories northwest of Tokyo. It said at the time it would likely have to recall 250,000 cars at a cost of some 5.0 billion yen ($44.23 million). It is not immediately known how much the wider recall of 395,000 vehicles will cost the group.

The affected cars were produced at the two factories between January 2014 and October 2017. Cars bought before then will have been subject to compulsory inspections three years after purchase, a transport ministry official said.

“There is no problem with older cars as they have already been confirmed to meet safety standards,” this official told AFP.

A Subaru spokesman said the group had decided to reinspect all vehicles produced domestically from 2014, not just some models believed to have been checked by uncertified staff.

The recall is the latest blow to the once-flawless reputation of Japan Inc, after a similar case at bigger rival Nissan. Last month, Nissan recalled some 1.2 million cars in Japan that had failed to meet domestic rules on final vehicle inspections.

This put a major dent in its operating profit forecast this year, the firm said last week.

The embarrassing admissions have hurt Japan’s auto industry, once the envy of the world for its just-in-time manufacturing and near-obsessive focus on constant improvement.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2017

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