Subaru has said in a report to the Japanese government last week that fuel mileage and emissions data for a total of 903 new cars were rigged at one of its plants, and that there is a ‘high probability’ the malpractice may have started in 2002. This follows the automaker’s admission late last year that unauthorised staff had conducted inspections on new cars.

The data rigging took place at the final testing stages of new cars at Subaru’s Gunma plant on the orders of the head of inspection staff and was continued by later employees, according to the automaker. The data tampering affected nine of its models, including the Subaru Forester and the Subaru BRZ.

The report was submitted by Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president of Subaru to Tetsuya Okuda, director-general of the Road Transport Bureau. “I apologise from the bottom of my heart for causing so much concern and trouble. This is a serious compliance issue. I deeply regret what happened,” Yoshinaga said following the submission of the report, according to The Japan Times.

Okuda urged Subaru to comply fully with regulations, saying any inspection data manipulation will cause public distrust of automakers. The automaker has no plans for a recall as no quality issues have been found, the report added.

According to The Japan Times report, Subaru continued the data fabrication after a similar scandal affected Mitsubishi, although some employees at the Subaru plant said the practice should be stopped, according to the report to the Japanese government.