Kobe Steel ops in Singapore 'not affected by scandal'

Kobe Steel's Singapore subsidiaries - which manufacture items such as gauges and strips for use in the electrical and electronics industries, as well as electrodes used in shipbuilding and repair - are not affected.
Kobe Steel's Singapore subsidiaries - which manufacture items such as gauges and strips for use in the electrical and electronics industries, as well as electrodes used in shipbuilding and repair - are not affected.PHOTO: REUTERS

Kobe Steel's operations in Singapore are not affected by the scandal over data falsification that has embroiled the firm, said a spokesman for the third-largest Japanese steelmaker.

Kobe Steel admitted on Sunday that for as long as a decade, data had been fabricated to show that aluminium and copper products met customer specifications. It was later found that incorrect information was also given for iron powder products.

"Our investigations are currently centred on four plants within Japan," Kobe Steel spokesman Gary Tsuchida told The Straits Times.

As such, its Singapore subsidiaries - which manufacture items such as gauges and strips for use in the electrical and electronics industries, as well as electrodes used in shipbuilding and repair - are not affected, he added.

The Japanese firm is undertaking investigations into the issue, and is working with about 200 companies to which it supplies products.

Reports said six Japanese carmakers had also been affected, including Toyota, which said Kobe Steel supplied materials to one of its Japanese factories, for use in bonnets, rear doors and their surrounding areas of certain vehicles.

 
 

A spokesman for Inchcape, which distributes Toyota and Suzuki cars here, said: "Putting utmost priority on the safety of our customers, we are rapidly working to identify which car models might be subject to this situation, its effect on individual vehicles, and precautionary measures that need to be put in place moving forward."

CUSTOMER SAFETY A PRIORITY

Putting utmost priority on the safety of our customers, we are rapidly working to identify which car models might be subject to this situation, its effect on individual vehicles, and precautionary measures that need to be put in place moving forward.

A SPOKESMAN FOR INCHCAPE, which distributes Toyota and Suzuki cars in Singapore.

The other Japanese carmakers affected are Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru and Mitsubishi.

A Honda spokesman told The Straits Times that the company is in the midst of clarifying with the head office the models that are affected, and any action that needs to be taken.

A Nissan spokesman said the Singapore office has not received any instructions regarding this issue, and will proceed as normal until it does.

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing told The Straits Times it had been working closely and continually with its suppliers, and had undertaken "comprehensive inspections and analysis" through its supply chain.

"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," said a spokesman for the United States company.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 12, 2017, with the headline 'Kobe Steel ops in S'pore 'not affected by scandal''. Print Edition | Subscribe