Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Japan to curb fallout from Kobe Steel's falsified data

Japan to curb fallout from Kobe Steel's falsified data

Kobe Steel has revealed its staff falsified data about the strength and durability of some aluminum and copper products used in automobiles, planes and trains, according to Bloomberg.

Shares in Kobe Steel fell by the daily limit of 300 points, the equivalent of 22 per cent, after the company admitted issuing product certificates that inaccurately met customer standards for shipments of aluminium and copper.

The Japanese government has already instructed auto manufacturers to carry out safety checks on aluminum parts manufactured by Kobe Shield. In the year ending in August, it affected... The products were delivered to more than 200 companies, including Toyota, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Subaru.

Though now no safety problems have been confirmed associated with the products in question yet, there have been concerns that they might pose safety hazards.

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But it followed a separate admission by a subsidiary company previous year that it has falsified data for materials used in household appliances.

"These are improper actions that could shake the foundation of fair trade", Yasuji Komiyama, director of the industry ministry's metal industries division, said at a briefing on the revelations.

The ministry has told Kobe Steel to contact affected clients, analyze the safety of the products in question and find ways to prevent a repeat.

Kobe Steel was expected to fall dramatically following its weekend announcement it had systematically fabricated inspection data for aluminium and copper products.

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Other companies affected include automakers such as Nissan Motor Co., Subaru Corp., Mazda Motor Corp., Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and Honda Motor Co., which have also said they used the affected aluminum products in their cars.

A rocket it launched Tuesday reportedly had materials sourced from Kobe Steel.

Subaru has produced training planes for Japan's Self-Defence Forces and wings for Boeing jets such as the Boeing Dreamliner, according to a spokesman, who said the company was checking which planes and parts used the affected aluminium.

The news comes as the latest in a series of scandals and embarrassments for Japanese companies that long were seen as putting quality and safety above all else.

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Nissan Motor Co. last week said it would recall more than 1 million cars after regulators discovered unauthorized inspectors approved vehicle quality, while Takata Corp. pleaded guilty this year of misleading automakers about the safety of its air bags.

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