Subaru The Latest Automaker Caught In Tidal Wave Of Japanese Scandals


Let’s just hope the $88 million bite won’t hurt any future STI models.

For being one of the most tightly regulated industries out there, the auto industry sure seems to be a ship full of holes carved by the corrosive dishonesty that's been put on display as of late. If it’s not GM building faulty ignition switches and then covering up the externalities, it’s Volkswagen AG sputtering noxious gasses into the atmosphere. Or Takata filling passengers with shrapnel if the airbag sensors are provoked or Kobe Steel supplying weak aluminum to some of the world’s largest automakers or….well, you get the point.

And just in case you thought that every badly behaving executive had come clean, Reuters has come in with news that no, the world is still the deceiving dog-eat-dog place you’ve always thought it to be. The latest revelation is in regards to the latest scandal revolving around Japanese automakers not adhering to inspection standards the government has in place. The scandal involves factory employees who are not certified technicians signing off on final inspections. Japanese law requires that certified technicians conduct the inspections and sign off before the cars can be sold, and a previous crackdown led Nissan to stop production at its Japanese factories to address the issue. Now it’s Subaru’s turn.

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The small automaker just announced that it will have to recall 400,000 vehicles in Japan to address the issue. Subaru came clean and said that the problem took place at its main Gunma complex close to Tokyo and that the practice of sometimes having uncertified technicians sign off on inspections has been taking place for over 30 years. The recall won’t come cheap for Subaru, which will spend $88.18 million on the recall. Interestingly enough, the lack of inspections don’t lessen the quality of Subaru’s products, at least not when compared to the Subies we get here in America.

That’s because the Japanese government doesn’t require inspections for vehicles that are to be shipped abroad, although to be fair Subaru does have to adhere to US standards for cars shipped to North America, its largest market. Any other Japanese automakers want to take the spotlight from Subaru? The little guys could use a break.

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