TOKYO -- Nissan Motor Co. said on Tuesday that parts maker Mahle Tennex Corp. had supplied it with sealing components containing asbestos that were installed in 165,804 mostly commercial vehicles in Japan.
Japan's second-biggest carmaker had previously announced that all of its vehicles in Japan have been asbestos-free since the end of 1994 after it had prohibited its suppliers from using the cancer-linked material under new quality standards it introduced in September of that year.
"In light of this new information, we retract that statement and sincerely apologize for the inaccurate information," Nissan said in a statement.
It said, however, that it had no plans to recall the affected vehicles, which include the AD VAN, Caravan and Atlas 10 models, because the asbestos was contained in a sealed part within the air filters and oil coolers and had little chance of being dispersed.
The Japanese government prohibited the production and usage of certain automotive and construction parts containing asbestos from Oct. 1, 2004, but the sealing part was not on that list.
Nissan said it would look into other parts delivered by existing suppliers to verify they did not contain asbestos.
Mahle Tennex Corp. is a wholly-owned Japanese subsidiary of unlisted German parts maker Mahle GmbH.