Ministry to penalise Bigmotor over fraud allegations

Sompo may also be facing penalties

Ministry to penalise Bigmotor over fraud allegations

Motor & Fleet

By Kenneth Araullo

The transport ministry of Japan is preparing to impose administrative penalties on the disgraced car dealer network Bigmotor over allegations of institutionalised fraud.

Sources close to the matter reported that Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism is planning punitive action against 34 Bigmotor outlets, with 12 possibly facing the harshest punishment of having their authority to conduct safety inspections revoked, according to the sources.

The ministry aims to publicly disclose the administrative penalties it intends to impose and will hold a hearing with Bigmotor before finalising the punishments, a Kyodo News report revealed.

In accordance with the road transport vehicle law, the ministry conducted on-site inspections in July at the 34 locations across 24 prefectures following an investigative report compiled by an independent panel of lawyers that revealed major fraudulent acts at the company.

The panel uncovered instances where employees damaged vehicle bodies with screwdrivers and golf balls or falsely claimed to have carried out paintwork. All 34 locations under inspection by the ministry were found to have engaged in questionable conduct, as indicated in the report.

Its closest insurance partner, Sompo Japan, may be in hot water as well. The financial watchdog is contemplating imposing penalties on the two companies, according to sources familiar with the matter.

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