Nissan shares have been hit by a £167m recall scandal of all cars sold in Japan in the last three years

Alys Key
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Nissan is facing a big bill for checking the vehicles again (Source: Getty)

Shares in Japanese car company Nissan dropped today after the firm said it will have to recall all 1.2m new passenger cars sold in Japan over the past three years.

The announcement comes after the discovery that final safety checks on the vehicles were not performed by authorised technicians.

The company told dealers it was halting new registrations for cars on Friday, affecting around 60,000 vehicles currently held in inventory.

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But today it revealed that the problem would affect a much larger number of cars.

Nissan now plans to reinspect all the vehicles at dealerships this week. The estimated cost is around 25 billion Yen (£167m). Shares in the company dropped as much as five per cent in Tokyo today, and closed down 2.7 per cent.

Possible issues with the cars include steering radius and braking and acceleration capabilities.

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Chief executive Hiroto Saikawa said in a press conference that while Nissan was "busy" and "under-staffed" it would take possible safety issues seriously through the reassessment of the vehicles.

The company will also now come under pressure from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which said on Friday that it would expect Nissan to report what measures were to be put in place to prevent the mistake happening again. Officials expect a response from Nissan by the end of the month.

Nissan said that an investigation into the oversight was underway and it would take steps to prevennt a recurrance of the error.

Among the 1.2m cars subject to the recall will be the company's electric car model Leaf, the newest version of which it launched last month.

Over 386,000 passenger vehicles were sold by Nissan in Japan last year, all of which will have to be checked again. But the recall excludes Nissan-branded mini-vehicles, which are made by Mitsubishi.

Japan accounts for around 10 per cent of Nissan's global passenger car sales.

The recall only affects cars in the Japanese market, and is unrelated to UK production of Nissan vehicles.

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