Photo/IllutrationNissan Motor Co.’s Nissan Leaf electric vehicle on an inspection line at its Oppama plant in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Nissan Motor Co.’s hourly vehicle production is likely to drop dramatically after it fixed its vehicle inspection system in accordance with the law.

The reboot took place in response to a scandal in which unauthorized workers performed safety checks on automobiles before shipment, the company said.

The controversy tarnished Japan’s reputation for quality as Nissan was building more vehicles than certified workers were able to inspect.

The scandal was compounded when it was revealed that Nissan had conducted inspections outside the specified production line.

To tackle the problem, the company has reorganized the production line process in its factories and will hire more workers who will be certified to carry out inspections.

Slower production is now expected in five of its six car assembly factories in the country, sources said.

Vehicle production at its Oppama plant in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, which has a larger ratio of vehicle production for the domestic market, will decline to nearly one-third and the Nissan Shatai Kyushu plant in Kanda, Fukuoka Prefecture will drop to almost half.

The worst-hit Oppama plant is a production base for its compact hatchback Note and also the Nissan Leaf electric vehicle, which has been touted as the company's car of the future.

Vehicles for the domestic market are mainly affected by the inspections rule under Japanese law, whereas vehicles for overseas markets are basically impacted by the changes made to the production lines, according to a Nissan official.

To raise production, it will require more qualified inspectors, but it takes at least three months for a worker to train and attain the necessary certification.

In addition, major changes in inspection lines may cause fresh problems when the line restarts. Therefore, it's impossible to forecast when the company can return production pace to normal.

Nissan has boasted of its strategy of producing cheaper cars by--under Chairman Carlos Ghosn and President Hiroto Saikawa--letting plants across the world compete to cut production costs.

Nishikawa has said that the recent mistakes were caused not because of a labor shortage or cost reductions but because of communication breakdowns between staff members.

However, Nissan’s executives and others involved admitted to The Asahi Shimbun that efficiency was given priority over the rule of law.

Subaru Corp.'s hourly vehicle production at its plants has not changed after it implemented measures to improve similar improper practice that had allowed uncertified workers to carry out inspections by removing those workers after this scandal surfaced.

(This article was written by Yoshitaka Ito and Naoatsu Aoyama.)