Sunday, April 8, 2018

Nissan Motor Company Scandal

Nissan Motor Company Scandal 2017 

Nissan is one of the largest global automobile manufacturing companies in the world. They are responsible for providing quality products to consumers through a global market headquartered in Japan. Since Nissan is one of the most well-known companies in the world, their reputation is as important as the products they sell. 

Automobile recalls are common among the car industry regardless of brand, quality, or quantity produced. Some errors will be made in the manufacturing process it is basic human error and manufacturing error. Trust in Japanese cars has fallen into question after Nissan Motor Company allowed unathorized employees to conduct final quality checks on finished vehicles. This scandal has made Nissan cut its operating profit forecast by forty billion yen due to costs related to flawed inspections. In Japan, around 1.2 million vehicles were recalled by Nissan. 
According to Japan's National broadcaster, NHK, inappropriote inspection practices at Nissan have been going on for atleast two decades, so the ethical problems at Nissan are buried deep within the company. There have been other companies that let manufacturing flaws slide, but no matter what they eventually have to face the consequences and recall the items. 
Overall, Nissan has taken responsibility by recalling over a million cars that had unethicall safety inspections, but that does not account for the stakeholder's safety prior to the recall being in place. Does an ethical issue get fixed by a recall 20 years into malpractice, or does Nissan have more to do before their unethical behavior is forgiven


Individualism; innovated by Friedman, which is also referred to as the “Economic Theory”, states that business actions should focus on maximizing profits for the owners of the businesses. Those business actions should also take place within the guidelines of the law. Looking at this ethical case study about Nissan, an Individualist would not see this as ethical. This is because even though the company most likely made more profits for the owners by having untrained employees conducting final vehicle inspections, they did so without follow the laws and regulations that go along with inspecting vehicles. Since Nissan was cutting corners to turn a profit, they are now viewed as unethical by Individualists.


Utilitarians would take the approach of satisfying the greater good, making all parties involved satisfied. The main values of Utilitarianism include happiness of all beings. In this case, Nissan Motor Company and all the Stakeholders are not happy. Nissan may be happy since they did not have to pay for the certified inspectors to do the final inspections of the vehicles but now they have a scandal and a recall on their hand and reputation. The stakeholders cannot be happy with vehicles that have not been properly inspected even though they are advertised as so.  


The theory of Kantianism, developed by Immanuel Kant, states that one should act in ways that respect and honor individuals and their choices. Kantians doe not lie, cheat, manipulate, or harm others to get their way. Nissan did exactly what Kantians preach against, they lied and manipulated vehicle safety inspections in Japan on over 1.2 billion automobiles. There is zero part of what Nissan did that was ethical.

Virtue Theory

The virtue theory, developed by Aristotle who was a Greek Philosopher, was created to determine whether a person(s) are fulfilling their full purpose and potential as well as knowing that purpose and potential. There are four main virtues that make up this theory; courage, honesty, temperance, and justice. If Nissan was to have followed these virtues the scandal they now face would have never happened in the first place. Honesty is thrown right out the window when Nissan falsified their inspection practices for over two decades. As for the other virtues I will go into more depth in the final paper. The bottom line is that Nissan’s unethical practices are nowhere near the values and morals of the Virtue Theory.


Stakeholders are an independent party that becomes directly affected by the actions of a business. The main stakeholders involved in this case study are the consumers who purchase Nissan Motor Company automobiles. Other stakeholders that are affected by this scandal are Nissan Motor Company, passengers, other drivers, and pretty much anyone that could encounter a recalled Nissan product.


Jiji. “Nissan to Recall Another 38,000 Vehicles over Inspection Scandal.” The Japan Times, 25 Oct. 2017,
Kim, Chang-Ran, et al. “Nissan's Inappropriate Inspections Started at Least 20 Years Ago: NHK.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 19 Oct. 2017,
McLain, Sean. “Nissan Inspection Scandal: Managers in the Dark as Trainees Checked Cars.” MarketWatch, 17 Nov. 2017,
Murai, Shusuke. “Flawed Nissan and Subaru Vehicle Inspections Seen as an Issue of Compliance Rather than Quality.” The Japan Times, 20 Nov. 2017,
Tajitsu, Naomi. “Nissan to Suspend Domestic Production of Cars for Japan Market.” Reuters, Thomson Reuters, 19 Oct. 2017,

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