Fraud Investigation into Bigmotor to Lead to Japan Government Order to Suspend Operations at 34 Auto Inspection Facilities

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Transport ministry officials enter a Bigmotor outlet in Kyoto for an on-site inspection on July 28.

Bigmotor Co.’s fraudulent auto insurance claims are expected to lead to the temporary suspension of 34 of its vehicle inspection facilities nationwide.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry also plans to revoke the private vehicle inspection site designation for 12 of the 34 facilities where fraud has been confirmed after the ministry conducted on-site inspections in July.

This would be the first administrative action taken against the major used car dealer under the Road Transport Vehicle Law.

After district transport bureaus under the ministry present the proposed disciplinary action and the ministry hears the company’s explanations, the ministry will make a formal decision on the administrative action Friday.

In late July, the ministry conducted unannounced on-site inspections at the vehicle maintenance facilities of 34 out of Bigmotor’s 250 outlets. Bigmotor’s external investigation committee had said that the 34 outlets had charged insurance companies an inflated amount for vehicle repairs.

As a result of the on-site inspections, the ministry found that the outlets issued certificates to vehicles conforming to safety regulations and had vehicles pass inspections without adequate examinations or maintenance.

The outlets were also found to have created false maintenance records and charged for excessive inspections and maintenance by intentionally damaging vehicle bodies.