In decorum-obsessed Japan, the auto industry is cooperating to keep Nissan's recent factory inspection scandal from dimming the glitz at this month's Tokyo Motor Show.
Hiroto Saikawa, who happens to be chairman of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association as well as Nissan's CEO, is temporarily handing off his JAMA duties during the expo.
Standing in as acting director of the industry group will be Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda.
JAMA announced the shuffle last week, in light of Nissan's "inappropriate handling" of final inspections of completed vehicles at some assembly plants in Japan.
Nissan fell afoul Japanese regulators this month when it emerged that a small number of uncertified workers had been signing off on finished vehicles. Nissan said it would recall more than 1.2 million vehicles in Japan — virtually every passenger car the company built for sale in the country over the last three years — to reinspect them and make sure they pass muster.
Echoing the public backlash, Japan's transport minister, Keiichi Ishii, told reporters that the lapse was "shaking the foundation" of the industry's certification system.
Japan's No. 2 carmaker is keeping a low profile in an all-important sign of contrition. It even delayed the announcement of its new midterm business plan as it deals with the matter.