Japan steel scandal grows as more carmakers hit
After Kobe Steel said it has systematically fabricated inspection data for aluminium and copper products, auto giants were scrambling to assess the quality of their vehicles that used products from the firm
TOP Japanese automakers said yesterday they were scrambling to assess the safety of vehicles containing products from Kobe Steel, which has admitted falsifying quality data in a growing scandal. Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi Motor, Subaru and Mazda joined aviation firms and defence contractors Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and IHI that have used the steelmaker’s products. The brewing crisis is the latest in a string of quality control and governance scandals to hit major Japanese businesses in recent years, undermining the country’s reputation for quality. Japan’s famous “Shinkansen” bullet trains also used Kobe Steel’s aluminium, as did high-speed trains in Britain, according to engineering firm Hitachi.
“Products used (for both Japanese and it was in talks with one client who received steel powder that did not match specifications. However, it declined comment on a media report that materials used in semiconductors were also impacted by the scandal. The Kobe Steel scandal broke on Sunday when the manufacturer first admitted falsifying data linked to the strength and quality of products. An internal probe has revealed that data were fabricated for about 19,300 tons of aluminium products, 2,200 tons of copper products and 19,400 units of aluminium castings and forgings shipped to clients between September 2016 through August 2017.
The stock dived 22 percent on Tuesday to finish at 1,068 yen ($9.50), its maximum daily loss limit -- wiping almost one billion dollars off the firm’s market value. Yesterday it plunged a further 17.8 percent to close at
Kobe Steel’s Executive Vice President Naoto Umehara (R) bows his head to apologize at a news conference in Tokyo.