Economy

Toyota and Honda affected by industrial scandal in Japan

Toyota and Honda affected by industrial scandal in Japan

The automotive industry in Japan has been rocked by a metal data falsification scandal. They included Toyota Motor, Central Japan Railway, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mazda Motor and Subaru, the companies confirmed.

Aluminum is widely used in cars, planes and high-speed trains in Japan which use the light-weight metal to increase fuel efficiency.

The products in question have been shipped to about some 200 companies, and though Kobe Steel did not disclose the names of companies affected, a wide range of companies have been found using the problematic products in cars, trains, and even rockets and defense equipments.

The false data supplied to automakers was meant to make metals look like they met clients' quality standards.

The Japanese government has already instructed auto manufacturers to carry out safety checks on aluminum parts manufactured by Kobe Shield.

Boeing, which gets some parts from Subaru, said there was nothing to date that raises any safety concerns.

It said that inspection data on the products, including those on strength and duration of the materials, were rewritten by workers who were "under pressure" to meet a deadline when the actual data failed to meet customer specifications. However Kawasaki said there haven't been any reports of safety issues. "We recognise that this breach of compliance principles on the part of a supplier is a grave issue".

In an internal audit, it was found that the company had corroborated data on the characteristics of multiple aluminum and copper parts and components.

Kobe Steel's Vice President Naoto Umehara right bows during a press conference in Tokyo. The Japanese government is urging steelmaker Kobe Steel to clarify the extent of manipulation of data on steel aluminum and other meta

Toyota confirmed that it has used aluminium with falsified strength and durability ratings in its doors and other outer areas. The products account for 4 percent of shipments of aluminum and copper parts as well as castings and forgings.

Suzuki Motor and Mitsubishi Motors said they were checking whether their vehicles were affected.

But the Nikkei newspaper said Toyota and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, producer of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet passenger plane, are among notable clients affected.

A rocket it launched Tuesday reportedly had materials sourced from Kobe Steel. The rocket cleared all safety checks before launch, the company said.

Analysts say the development further tarnishes the reputation of Japan's globe-trotting manufacturers, long celebrated for their high-quality products.

"We want Kobe Steel to make the utmost effort to restore trust from society", he said.

Also, in February 2017, Takata pleaded guilty in the U.S.to one count of wire fraud for misleading automakers about the safety of its air bags.

Nissan last week recalled more than 1-million cars in Japan.

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