‘The credibility of Kobe Steel has plunged to zero.’
That’s the president of embattled Japanese steel giant Kobe as he admitted on Thursday that new findings may upturn even more falsified data on the products it sends around the world.
Hiroya Kawasaki, the company’s president and CEO, addressed the media after meeting with Japanese trade officials. Kobe Steel /zigman2/quotes/207391157/delayed JP:5406 -0.99% , which is Japan’s third-largest producer, has already admitted that products were sold to about 200 firms, including car, train and plane makers, with false data about their strength and durability.
The Japanese government now wants the steel maker to report on the result of its new safety checks within two weeks, with the reason behind the falsehoods and planned prevention measures due to officials within a month, data that could show the problem runs deeper than initially believed, the BBC reported Thursday .
Kobe Steel revealed on Sunday that some aluminium and copper products shipped from September 2016 to August 2017 were falsely labelled as meeting the specifications requested by customers. It admitted the fabrications may have started a decade ago.
Kawasaki said Thursday he did not expect recalls of cars or planes for now, and none of the company’s customers had cancelled orders. Toyota /zigman2/quotes/200537742/composite TM +2.01% , Mazda /zigman2/quotes/204777714/delayed JP:7261 -0.60% , Honda /zigman2/quotes/200490352/delayed JP:7267 +0.29% and General Motors /zigman2/quotes/205226835/composite GM -1.72% are among the firms affected. Boeing /zigman2/quotes/208579720/composite BA -2.60% said it had not found any safety issues so far.
In reality, Kobe Steel joins a rogues gallery of other Japanese and global multinationals that have been accused of duping consumers and regulators about product and environmental quality and safety. In just the latest example, Japanese auto maker Nissan /zigman2/quotes/208298710/delayed JP:7201 +0.53% ordered a recall earlier in October of more than one million cars in Japan after finding out that quality inspections at all six of its plants had been conducted by non-qualified staff.