Kobe Steel, one of Japan’s largest steel companies with customers across the global automotive industry, has admitted to using improper data on some components used in various sectors.
Kobe released a further statement detailing which components were affected by what it calls "improper conduct" - in this second round of affected product announcements, Kobe listed steel powder, steel wire and other steel products as having improper inspection data. The Japanese materials giant says it "deeply apologizes again for the enormous amount of trouble it is causing to customers, suppliers, shareholders and many others."
During the first round of announcements, the company admitted 40,900 tonnes of aluminium and copper parts are affected, with flat rolled aluminium, cases and forgings making up the majority of the affected. A relatively small tonnage of copper strips and tubes are also implicated.
The affected products were shipped from Kobe between 1 September 2016 and 31 August 2017. Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Suzuki, Ford, Mazda, Subaru and Mitsubishi are among Kobe’s customers. Suzuki has since clarified that none of its cars use the affected materials.
As Kobe has customers across the global automotive industry, there are now concerns about the implication of the improperly submitted data of the parts. Reuters reports that Kobe’s automotive customers are themselves investigating.
Kobe is launching an internal investigation and will release a statement on any wider implications at a later date.
Honda has released the following statement: "Having investigated our products based on Kobe Steel's announcement, we confirmed that an aluminium produced in that specific period was used in doors and bonnet of our automobile products. Our products will only use aluminium that passes the internal inspection. We will continue to investigate for further detail and will correspond in order to secure our customers' safety and security."