Japanese steel scandal grows as Kobe admits more cases of falsified information

Graphics 1

Graphics 1

However, Kobe Steel's president, Hiroya Kawasaki, said he did not expect product recalls because of the faked inspections data.

A growing number of auto makers including Toyota and General Motors are investigating whether aluminium with falsified and strength and durability data has been used in their cars, after supplier Kobe Steel admitted to tampering with its product standards.

Toyota, Honda and Subaru said they used materials that were subject to falsification, Bloomberg reported.

In July a year ago, however, Kobe Steel said it had begun mass production of titanium forged parts for A350 landing gear.

Over the prior week alone, news of the scandal had wiped about $1.8bn off Kobe Steel's market value.

He said the company was focusing on pinpointing the cause of the problem, how to fix it and on confirming the safety of the products affected.

More than thirty non-Japanese clients, including Daimler and Airbus to name a few, had been affected by the company's data fabrication.

A Kobe Steel spokesman said that Japan Aeroforge is still making parts for Safran Landing Systems.

Faulty parts have also been found in Japan's famous bullet trains that run at speeds as high as around 300km (180 miles) per hour and a space rocket that was launched in Japan earlier this week.

Kobe Steel said the falsification of quality data "has brought overwhelming shame to the company".

No safety issues have yet been identified in the unfolding imbroglio.

The head of Japan's number three steelmaker said Thursday that his firm was checking with more Japanese clients as well as foreign buyers including General Motors (NYSE: GM - news).

"Trust in Kobe Steel has fallen to zero".

"It is hard to predict the extent of legal costs", said Motokazu Endo, a lawyer at Tokyo Kasumigaseki law office.

Japan Aeroforge is a venture controlled by Kobe Steel and Hitachi Metals.

But those credentials have been shattered, a point amplified by CEO Kawasaki who said the credibility of the firm "has plunged to zero".

In 2015, it was revealed that Toyo Tire & Rubber fabricated data to secure government approval for materials to absorb shocks from earthquakes.

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