Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Kobe Steel fabricated data for aluminium, copper products

Kobe Steel Says It Falsified Data on Some Aluminum, Copper Parts Tokyo stocks up at break, N. Korea fears ease
Juana Turner | 11 October, 2017, 00:27

The new Toyota Tundra TRD won't be impacted by the Kobe Steel scandal. These metals went into products at about 200 companies, including Toyota, Mazda, Subaru, Boeing and Central Japan Railway.

Aluminum is widely used in cars, planes and high-speed trains in Japan which use the light-weight metal to increase fuel efficiency.

About 4 percent of the aluminum and copper products shipped from September 2016 to August 2017 were falsely labelled as meeting the specifications requested by customers, Kobe Steel said. Nissan has already said aluminum hoods that fail to meet specifications could pose a risk to pedestrians during front-end collisions, while Toyota said the metal could have been used in some of its hoods and rear doors.

The false data supplied to automakers was meant to make metals look like they met clients' quality standards.

According to Kobe Steel, the falsification was carried out at four Japanese factories.

Boeing, which gets some parts from Subaru, said there was nothing to date that raises any safety concerns. The misconduct involved products shipped to about 200 customers, and possibly stretched back a decade, Reuters reported on October 10, citing the company. Boeing said in a separate statement, "Nothing in our review to date leads us to conclude that this issue presents a safety concern, and we will continue to work diligently with our suppliers to complete our investigation". "We recognise that this breach of compliance principles on the part of a supplier is a grave issue".

Some of the biggest vehicle manufacturers including Toyota and Honda are affected by an industrial scandal in Japan over falsified data relating to the strength and durability of aluminium used in the production of their cars. Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi are also top customers of Kobe Steel and said they are checking whether their vehicles are affected.

JPMorgan Securities Japan Co. estimated that it could cost the company as much as 15 billion yen ($133 million) to replace the parts, assuming five percent of its aluminum product sales were affected.

Boeing also could be impacted through another company, Japan's IHI produces some engines for the USA aircraft giant and also uses some Kobe Steel products. Suzuki Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. all said they are checking whether their vehicles are affected. "Checks are under way, but at this point no large effects have been found in the manufacture of the rocket or MRJ".

"We want Kobe Steel to make the utmost effort to restore trust from society", he said.

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

Analysts say the announcement further tarnishes the reputation of Japan's globe-trotting manufacturers, long celebrated for their high-quality products.

It was not clear whether it would affect the safety of their products. Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. officials were referred to prosecutors in March after the company's 2015 admission it falsified data on rubber for earthquake-proofing buildings.

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