Nissan Motor Co Ltd saw its share price hit its lowest in five months on Monday after the automaker said it produced tens of thousands of vehicles for the Japanese market without proper safety checks.
Nissan late on Friday also said it will suspend the initial registration of 60,000 vehicles in the Japanese government's vehicle registration system after the transport ministry found personnel involved in final inspections without the automaker's authorisation at six domestic plants.
Japan's second-biggest automaker said the 60,000 span 21 models, including the Leaf electric vehicle, and that they are all in factory inventory or at dealerships. It said owners of vehicles already sold will be contacted in due course with instructions for fresh checks, without giving further details.
The automaker's shares fell as much as 5.3 percent on Monday to their lowest since April before closing down 2.7 percent. The benchmark Nikkei average stock price index ended up 0.2 percent.
At a news conference on Friday, Nissan said it did not know when the inappropriate checks began, or the number of vehicles affected.
Nissan made 386,000 vehicles for the domestic market in 2016. Automakers must register all such vehicles with Japan's government before sale, with owners renewing the registrations of passenger vehicles every three years.
Nissan said registrations of the 60,000 affected vehicles would resume after fresh checks. It said it did not know how long the fresh checks would take. Nissan also said a third party will participate in an internal investigation into the matter.
Market participants were sanguine about the speed at which the issue would likely be resolved and its wider implications.
"It doesn't sound like there's anything wrong with the cars.
When they reinspect the vehicles, they will probably pass rather quickly," CLSA managing director Chris Richter said, adding the issue would likely have limited impact on domestic sales.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said on Friday it has asked Nissan to report measures to prevent a recurrence of the issue by the end of October.