Currently reading: Nissan to continue legal action against Carlos Ghosn
Japanese car giant issues first statement since former boss fled Japan

Nissan says that it will continue to pursue “appropriate legal action” against Carlos Ghosn, despite it former chairman fleeing Japan for Lebanon.

Ghosn had been charged with financial misconduct in Japan over allegations relating to his time as chairman and CEO of Nissan, and was being held in the country under house arrest. But he escaped Japan in late December and fled to Beirut, from where he has vowed to fight to clear his name.

Ghosn’s initial request came after misconduct was uncovered by an internal Nissan investigation, which led to him being sacked from the firm.

In its first statement since Ghosn escaped Japan, Nissan said it found Ghosn’s decision to flee “extremely regrettable”.

It added: “Nissan discovered numerous acts of misconduct by Ghosn through a robust, thorough internal investigation. The company determined that he was not fit to serve as an executive, and removed him from all offices. The internal investigation found incontrovertible evidence of various acts of misconduct by Ghosn, including misstatement of his compensation and misappropriation of the company’s assets for his personal benefit.”

Nissan noted that, as well as being charged in Japan, Ghosn’s conduct was determined to be fraudulent by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, and he is also being investigated by French authorities. Nissan said it would continue to cooperate with judicial and regulatory authorities.

The firm hinted that it will continue to investigate Ghosn’s conduct and, potentially, pursue further action against him.

It stated: “Ghosn’s flight will not affect Nissan’s basic policy of holding him responsible for the serious misconduct uncovered by the internal investigation. The company will continue to take appropriate legal action to hold Ghosn accountable for the harm that his misconduct has caused to Nissan.”


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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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Lovema75 7 January 2020

We'll see.

Whether he is guilty of any, or all of the allegations we will have to wait and see - if we ever truly know.
However, the real point here, and why he's undoubtedly flown, is the lack of any confidence that he could receive a fair trial.

For a supposedly civilised country, Japan has shown itself crude and vicious in its treatment of him (and others). With a "justice" system that has over 99% conviction rate, in no way can a defendant ever be seen to have been treated in fairness - true guilt is made certain based upon properly tested evidence. He hasn't been found guilty by public opinion, but Japan's justice system has done so by its pernicious mistreatment before the trial has even started.

Leading a defendant into court on the end of a rope for alleged financial misdemeanors (as he was) shames decent, civilised society, and clearly shows that Japan's legal system isn't, and cannot be taken seriously.

It's likely that whatever evidence they claim to have found, it will be hard to have it taken seriously - why should it be when it's offered by individuals so ready to flout international standards and common decency?

Were I a company executive, I'd certainly not favour such a capricious country with so much investment and time

Will86 7 January 2020

Strong words

Nissan aren't holding back there - will be fascinating to see how this pans out.