Data falsification scandal does not affect Singapore operations: Kobe Steel

Kobe Steel admitted on Sunday (Oct 8) that for as long as a decade, data had been fabricated to show that its aluminium and copper products met customer specifications.
Kobe Steel admitted on Sunday (Oct 8) that for as long as a decade, data had been fabricated to show that its aluminium and copper products met customer specifications.PHOTO: REUTERS

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

Kobe Steel admitted on Sunday (Oct 8) that for as long as a decade, data had been fabricated to show that its 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 Mr 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 ship building and repair - are not affected, he added.

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

Reports said six Japanese carmakers were also affected, including Toyota, which said Kobe Steel supplied materials to one of its Japanese factories, which used them in hoods, rear doors and the 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."

Other carmakers affected included Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru and Mitsubishi. ST has reached out to their local distributors for comments.

Boeing said it had been working closely and continuously 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 American aircraft manufacturer which supplies aircrafts to Singapore Airlines.