Kobe Steel Warns of More Falsified Product Data

October 12, 2017 at 1:22 AM

Kobe Steel Ltd. President Hiroya Kawasaki warned earlier today that a continuing internal investigation may turn up more of the company’s products whose quality and performance data were falsified.

The company revealed on Sunday that strength and durability data had been fabricated for certain aluminum and copper products supplied to 200 companies for as long as 10 years. On Wednesday the company said another product, iron powder, also may have been backed by bogus quality data.

Bloomberg News reports that Central Japan Railway has discovered substandard materials from Kobe in 310 parts used in its high-speed bullet trains. The company says the parts, supplied over the past five years, pose no safety threat but will be replaced.

The issue to date involves five Kobe facilities in Japan. The company tells BBC News that dozens of employees, including veteran quality control experts, appear to be involved in the burgeoning scandal.

Kawasaki says that Japan’s trade ministry wants a full report in two weeks and an accounting within a month of why the data was doctored and how the company intends to prevent further occurrences.

The crisis has seen Kobe’s stock price plummet 36%, erasing €1.5 billion from the company’s market value.