TOKYO — Subaru is weighing sweeping recalls in Japan after becoming the second carmaker to reveal that uncertified workers have conducted vehicle inspections.
Subaru Corp. President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said the problem is forcing the carmaker to consider calling back as many as 255,000 vehicles to be reinspected.
The automaker has about 245 inspectors at its assembly plants in Gunma, Japan. As of Oct. 1, four were signing off on cars without the appropriate level of training, the company said.
Over the past four years, an average of eight uncertified workers were conducting inspections every month. The uncertified workers were actually trainees.
Subaru has filed a report on the matter to Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and will decide whether to proceed with a recall after hearing back from authorities Oct. 30, Yoshinaga said.
A recall, covering vehicles made over three years ending Oct. 3, 2017, could cost up to ¥5 billion ($44 million), said Atsushi Osaki, corporate vice president for quality control.
Affected nameplates might include the Forester, Outback, Legacy, Impreza, XV and BRZ. Recalls might also impact the Toyota 86, a BRZ sibling coupe manufactured by Subaru.
“We have yet to become a company that can measure up to global standards,” Yoshinaga said at a hastily called news conference Friday night, Oct. 27. “We would like to make a fresh start today.”