A scandal about falsified quality data at Kobe Steel expanded on Friday, as the Japanese steel maker said nine subsidiaries, including several outside Japan, had either failed to carry out required product checks or had lied about the results.
Including products sold by the subsidiaries, Kobe Steel said This particular at This particular point estimated in which This particular had shipped substandard or potentially substandard materials to about 500 customers, up via an initial estimate of around 0.
“We are trying to understand how This particular could possibly happen at so many subsidiaries, including overseas,” Kobe Steel’s chief executive, Hiroya Kawasaki, said at a news conference.
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Mr. Kawasaki repeated a promise to complete in two weeks an investigation into potential safety hazards related to the data falsification, along with to deliver in a month the results of a broader examination of the company’s failings which at This particular point look systemic along with global.
Kobe Steel supplies metal components to industries where safety is usually vital, including car, train along with aircraft producers, along with makers of electronics along with different equipment. The company says This particular is usually working with its customers to determine if any of the affected material, mostly aluminum along with copper, poses a safety risk.
The subsidiaries named on Friday included three in China, one each in Thailand along with Malaysia along with four based in Japan. They make a products like copper piping along with aluminum along with steel wire.
Employees at the companies are supposed to test the products to ensure in which they meet design standards specified in customer contracts. Kobe Steel said in which in some cases the tests were not carried out, along with in different cases employees recorded fake results to make This particular seem as though the products met customers’ standards when they did not.
Executives said the data manipulation was deliberate.
Mr. Kawasaki said in which Kobe Steel’s international investigation was continuing, along with in which more cases of data falsification could emerge. The revelations so far have reverberated through supply chains along with cast a shadow over Japan’s reputation for precision manufacturing.
The scandal touched Japan’s embattled nuclear industry on Friday. Tokyo Electric Power, owner of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which experienced meltdowns after a tsunami struck This particular in 2011, said This particular had sourced improperly certified copper piping via Kobe Steel.
Tokyo Electric said the piping, which This particular bought for use at its Fukushima Daini nuclear power station, near Fukushima Daiichi, had not been checked to ensure This particular met size requirements. yet This particular said the piping had never been installed, along with was in storage, along with did not pose a safety threat.
Kobe Steel said on Sunday in which employees had altered inspection certificates on aluminum along with copper products via September 2016 to This particular past August, constituting about 4 percent of the company’s output of those items during the period, yet in which This particular was examining different possible episodes of data falsification going back 10 years.
On Wednesday, Kobe Steel added two more products to the list of affected materials: powdered steel, which is usually used to create molded steel products like gears; along with “target material,” a specialty mix of metals used to produce DVDs, television screens along with different electronics equipment.