Kobe Steel’s data fabrication leaves Made-in-Japan champions scrambling

Carmakers affected by Kobe Steel’s announcement include Toyota Motor, Honda Motor, Nissan Motor, Mazda Motor, Subaru, and Mitsubishi Motors. PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - The revelation that Japan's third-biggest steelmaker Kobe Steel's fabricated data for some of its aluminium and copper products has left affected manufacturers scrambling to pin down the potential impact.

The products were shipped to around 200 companies which include some of Japan's most recognisable names.

Carmakers affected by Kobe Steel's announcement include Toyota Motor, Honda Motor, Nissan Motor, Mazda Motor, Subaru, and Mitsubishi Motors, the respective companies confirmed.


Japan's largest carmaker Toyota said the compliance breach was a "grave issue", adding that Kobe Steel's products were used in vehicle doors and hoods. NISSAN Doors and hoods are also affected at Nissan, a spokesman confirmed. The carmaker is grappling with its own compliance failures, recalling all new cars sold in Japan in the last three years after discovering final vehicle inspections were not performed by authorised technicians.


Honda said doors and hoods are affected, while Subaru said vehicles and aircraft are affected.


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said Kobe Steel products were used on its Mitsubishi Regional Jet and rockets, including the H-2A rocket launched on Tuesday (Oct 10) morning to put a navigation satellite into orbit. The rocket cleared all safety checks before launch, the company said.


Heavy machinery maker IHI said affected products were used in its jet engines. IHI is a supplier for engines used on Boeing aircraft and in Japan's defence and aerospace industries. The company did not say which engines used the affected products.


Central Japan Railway Company (JR Tokai), which operates the Shinkansen bullet train line between Tokyo and Osaka, said Kobe Steel's products were used in some of its Shinkansen's train trucks - the undercarriage of the train. The products were tested for safety before they were used, a spokesman said.

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