Kobe Steel’s forged data affects more vehicles


(Jiji Press)

Kobe Steel Ltd.’s falsification of intensity inspection certification data for some of its metal products were found Tuesday to have hit a wide range of products — from automobiles to Shinkansen bullet train cars and a rocket.

Kobe Steel said Sunday that the certification data for some of its aluminum and copper products were fabricated, and that the products failing to meet specifications required by its client companies were shipped to them.

In the one year from September 2016, Kobe Steel shipped a total of over 20,000 tons of the products in question, such as aluminum plates and copper tubes, to its client companies.

It was revealed on Sunday that companies that received the products include Toyota Motor Corp. and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp., a unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and the maker of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet.

On Tuesday, Mitsubishi Heavy said that Kobe Steel products with falsified data were used in an H-2A rocket that was successfully launched the same day to send into orbit the Michibiki No. 4 satellite for the Japanese version of the Global Positioning System (GPS).

The rocket was blasted off after the company confirmed its strength through internal inspections, Mitsubishi Heavy added.

The products were also found to have been used in some components of Shinkansen cars of Central Japan Railway Co., or JR Tokai, as well as those of East Japan Railway Co. and West Japan Railway Co., or JR East and JR West, respectively.

JR Tokai said that it has confirmed the safety of its Shinkansen cars, adding that it is considering replacing the parts in question with properly certified ones when routine checks are conducted.

In the auto industry, Nissan Motor Co. has newly said that falsely certified Kobe Steel products were used for hoods and doors of some of its vehicles.
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