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UPDATE 2-Nissan to recall 1.2 mln cars in Japan over unauthorized checks

* Cars to be re-inspected at a total cost of 25 bln yen

* Nissan expects to take around 1 month to determine cause

* Shares hit five-month low (Recasts with recall plans, adds details, comment)

YOKOHAMA, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Nissan Motor Co Ltd plans to recall 1.2 million cars in Japan after it discovered final vehicle inspections were not performed by authorized technicians, it said on Monday.

Japan's second-biggest automaker said the recall would cost it around 25 billion yen ($222 million) to re-inspect cars produced for the domestic market between October 2014 and September 2017, which include top sellers the Serena minivan and the Note compact hatchback.

"We must take the registration framework and procedures seriously, regardless of how busy we may be or how short-staffed we may be," CEO Hiroto Saikawa told reporters at a media conference.

"We apologize for the inconvenience caused to our customers."

Saikawa added the company was investigating how and why the inspections took place, a process expected to take around a month. A third party will participate in an internal investigation into the matter, he said.

The announcement is the latest by a Japanese automaker over improper conduct, and comes a year and a half after Mitsubishi Motors Corp admitted it had falsified the fuel economy for some of its domestic market models, which resulted in Nissan taking a controlling stake in its smaller rival.

It expands the scope of a problem reported last week, when Nissan initially said it would suspend the registration of 60,000 vehicles over unauthorized inspections.

The automaker's shares fell as much as 5.3 percent to their lowest since April before closing down 2.7 percent. The benchmark Nikkei average stock price index ended up 0.2 percent.

Nissan made 386,000 vehicles for the domestic market in 2016. Automakers must register all such vehicles with Japan's government before sale, with owners renewing the registrations of passenger vehicles every three years.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said on Friday it has asked Nissan to report measures to prevent a recurrence of the issue by the end of October.

($1 = 112.8100 yen) (Additional reporting by Tom Wilson and Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Mark Potter)