COMPANIES CHECK KOBE’S STEEL
MITSUBISHI Heavy, Toyota and Subaru have issued media statements in reaction to Kobe Steel’s admission last week that it had systematically certified products as safe after they failed quality control tests and sold them to about 500 companies.
Bloomberg reported inspection certificates of flat-rolled and extruded aluminium as well as copper products shipped between September last year to August this year had been issued with false safety certification ratings.
Companies that use the sheets range from Boeing to Ford and Toyota motor companies.
Toyota said in response it had urgently investigated the impact on Toyota and Lexus vehicles and the initial investigation identified aluminum plates purchased both directly from Kobe Steel and via other suppliers were used in certain vehicles, primarily in the construction of bonnets, rear hatches and other components of their vehicles.
Toyota also examined the data for three years back and verified strength and durability of the affected aluminum plates, using the data Kobe provided that was furthest outside of Toyota’s specifications.
“Based on that analysis, we confirmed that the materials satisfy applicable statutory standards, and our own internal standard, for key safety and durability requirements for vehicles,” said Toyota in a statement.
The investigation is now working to identify the impact of affected non-aluminum materials on vehicles. Subaru in Japan also confirmed the aluminium panel material meets all the automakers’ internal safety standards. — WR.