Kobe Steel's forged data affects more vehicles

Tokyo stocks up at break N. Korea fears ease

Business daily Nikkei said Mitsubishi Motors, Subaru and Mazda had also used products from Kobe Steel in their vehicles.

Kobe Steel has revealed its staff falsified data about the strength and durability of some aluminum and copper products used in automobiles, planes and trains, according to Bloomberg. Rival aluminum makers gained.

JR Tokai said that it has confirmed the safety of its Shinkansen cars, adding that it is considering replacing the parts in question with properly certified ones when routine checks are conducted.

Kobe Steel said on Sunday the products were delivered to more than 200 companies but didn't disclose customer names, with the falsification meant to make the metals look as if they met client quality standards. Chief executive officer Hiroya Kawasaki is now head of committee which will probe quality issues.

The Japanese firm is now undertaking investigations into the issue, and is working with about 200 companies that it supplies products to.

"Our investigations are now centred on four plants within Japan", Kobe Steel spokesman Mr Gary Tsuchida told The Straits Times.

For example, Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP partner Samuel Rudman comments, "I expect a wave of litigation as soon as people figure out what's happened, who's impacted and the company continues to admit things", adding that his might be one of the firms that will pursue claims on behalf of "the whole gamut" of [everyone] affected.

Government officials in Japan are urging steelmaker Kobe Steel to clarify the extent of inspection data manipulation over various metals used in a wide range of consumer and industrial products. "We recognise that this breach of compliance principles on the part of a supplier is a grave issue". Subaru also used such products in aircraft.

In the auto industry, Nissan Motor Co. has newly said that falsely certified Kobe Steel products were used for hoods and doors of some of its vehicles. Suzuki Motor Corp and Mitsubishi Motors Corp all said they are checking whether their vehicles are affected.

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