No falsely certified Kobe Steel products on Singapore trains

Kobe Steel revealed earlier this month (Oct) that for up to 10 years, it had fabricated data to show that its aluminium, copper and iron powder products met customer specifications.
Kobe Steel revealed earlier this month (Oct) that for up to 10 years, it had fabricated data to show that its aluminium, copper and iron powder products met customer specifications.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - No "non-conforming" products from Kobe Steel are used in trains here, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA), following a data falsification scandal involving the third-largest steelmaker in Japan.

Kobe Steel revealed earlier this month (Oct) that for up to 10 years, it had fabricated data to show that its aluminium, copper and iron powder products met customer specifications.

About 500 companies, including major Japanese carmakers such as Mazda and Toyota, had received the falsely certified products.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, an LTA spokesman said it has confirmed with all MRT and LRT train manufacturers, including the Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI)-CSR Sifang consortium, that falsely certified products were not used.

The consortium is currently replacing the car-body bolster - an aluminium alloy structure under the train cars - for 26 defective trains on the North-South and East-West lines. The bolsters are cast by Kobe Steel.

The trains were shipped back to Qingdao in China after they were found to have hairline cracks.

The KHI-CSR Sifang consortium is also manufacturing the new fleet of trains for the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line, which will open in stages from 2019.

"The safety of commuters is our utmost concern," said the LTA.

"LTA will continue to monitor developments from the investigations into the quality of products manufactured by Kobe Steel."

Kobe Steel had previously told ST that its Singapore subsidiaries - which manufacture items such as gauges and strips for use in the electrical and electronics industries - are not affected by the data falsification scandal.