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Kobe Steel's data fabrication leaves 'Made-in-Japan' champions scrambling

10/17/2017 | 08:10am EDT

TOKYO (Reuters) - Revelations from Japan's third-biggest steelmaker Kobe Steel Ltd that it had fabricated data for some of its aluminum and copper and other products have left affected manufacturers scrambling to pin down the potential impact.

The company supplies materials and components to companies around the world and said its product data falsification affected around 500 companies, including some global household names.

No safety problems have surfaced as Kobe Steel attempts to confirm the extent of the data tampering. The government has ordered the company to address safety concerns within about two weeks and report on how the misconduct occurred in a month.

The following lists companies that have received falsely certified parts or are checking whether they have received them.

Listed also are companies included in media reports, where Reuters has not been able to confirm the status.


Boeing Co, the world's biggest maker of passenger jets, has used Kobe Steel 5406.T products that include those falsely certified by the Japanese company, a source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.


Airbus SE does not buy products directly from Japan's Kobe Steel but is investigating whether any of its suppliers are affected by the cheating scandal, an Airbus spokesman said.

The Nikkei newspaper had reported earlier that the aircraft maker had received Kobe Steel products with falsified specifications.


Ford Motor Co said its Ford Mondeo in China has an aluminum hood from Kobe Steel but that it had not confirmed whether this was an affected product.


General Motors Co said it is was investigating whether any autos contained products sourced from Kobe Steel.


Toyota Motor Corp, Japan's largest automaker, said the compliance breach was a "grave issue", adding that Kobe Steel's products were used in vehicle doors and hoods.


Rolls-Royce Holdings said it received affected products but they have not been used.


Korean Air Lines Co said it has supplied parts using Kobe Steel products to Boeing and was investigating.


Hyundai Motor Co and sister car maker Kia Motors Corp said panels produced by Kobe Steel have been used in the IONIQ and Niro models.


Doors and hoods were affected at Nissan Motor Co, a spokesman said.

The automaker is grappling with its own compliance failures, recalling all new cars sold in Japan in the last three years after discovering final vehicle inspections were not performed by authorized technicians.


Honda Motor Co also said doors and hoods were affected, while Subaru Corp said vehicles and aircraft were affected.

Japanese industry ministry officials said Kobe Steel materials were used in some defense equipment made by Subaru.


Suzuki Motor Corp says affected products supplied by Kobe Steel were used in its motorcycles.

Other automakers affected by Kobe Steel's announcement are Mazda Motor Corp and Mitsubishi Motors Corp, the companies confirmed.


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd said Kobe Steel products were used on its Mitsubishi Regional Jet and rockets, including the H-2A rocket launched on Oct. 10 to put a navigation satellite into orbit. The rocket cleared all safety checks before launch, the company said.

Japanese industry ministry officials said Kobe Steel materials were used in some defense equipment made by Mitsubishi Heavy.


Heavy machinery maker IHI Corp said affected products were used in its jet engines.

IHI is a supplier for engines used on Boeing Co aircraft and in Japan's defense and aerospace industries. The company did not say which engines used the affected products.

Japanese industry ministry officials said Kobe Steel materials were used in some defense equipment made by IHI.


Hitachi Ltd said affected aluminum products were used in its trains in Japan and the U.K.

The company said it plans to exchange parts used in the undercarriage of bullet trains running on JR Tokai and JR West lines.

It was not possible to switch out components used in train bodies, such as on JR East bullet trains and in its U.K trains, the company said, adding it is considering whether to seek compensation from the steelmaker.


Central Japan Railway Company Co, which operates the bullet train line between Tokyo and Osaka, said affected products were used in train undercarriages and would be replaced.


West Japan Railway Co said affected parts were used and that it will seek compensation from the steelmaker.


East Japan Railway Co said affected parts were used in bullet train bodies.


Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd said affected materials were used in aircraft parts and in engine components while it was still investigating to see if there were any other products including trains that used affected materials.

Japanese industry ministry officials said Kobe Steel materials were used in some defense equipment made by Kawasaki Heavy.


Mitsubishi Electric Corp said affected copper was used in air conditioners produced domestically.


Fukushima nuclear operator Tokyo Electric Power Holdings Inc (Tepco) said on Oct. 13 it had taken delivery of pipes from Kobe Steel that were not checked properly. The pipes were delivered to its Fukushima Daini station, located near the destroyed Fukushima Daiichi plant, but have not been used, Tepco said. Tepco was checking all its facilities.


Volkswagen AG [VOWG_p.DE] said Kobe Steel is not a direct supplier and that it was checking the situation with its own suppliers.


Panasonic Corp said affected products were used in Blu-ray discs and had also received affected copper and copper alloy pipes from Kobe Steel.


Daimler AG said on Oct. 13 that Kobe Steel is not a supplier after the Nikkei business daily reported the same day that it had received products from the steelmaker with falsified specifications.


PSA Group also said on Oct. 13 that Kobe Steel is not a supplier after the Nikkei reported it had also received products from the steelmaker with falsified specifications.

The Nikkei also said the following companies have been supplied with Kobe Steel products with faked specifications.

A Kobe Steel spokesman told Reuters the companies had all received parts and components originating from the steelmaker but did not confirm whether they had been tampered with.

The companies are listed below by sector, separated between Japanese and non-Japanese companies.

Denso Corp, Yamaha Motor, Sumitomo Wiring Systems, Takata Corp, Fujitsu Ltd, Yazaki Corp.

Tesla Inc, Renault SA, Daimler AG, Valeo SA and Volvo AB.

Shimadzu Corp, Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co Ltd, NEC Corp, Yokohama Rubber Co Ltd, Komatsu Ltd.

Tokyo Metro Co, Hankyu Hanshin Holdings Inc

General Electric Co

Daikin Industries Ltd, Toshiba Corp, Horiba Ltd, Nidec Corp.

Intel Corp

($1 = 111.8900 yen)

(Reporting by Sam Nussey, Yuka Obayashi, Osamu Tsukimori, Joe White, Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Aaron Sheldrick and Shri Navaratnam)

© Reuters 2017
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ANHUI JIANGHUAI AUTOMOBILE GROUP CORP.,LTD. -1.14% 13.93 End-of-day quote.13.90%
DAIMLER AG -1.07% 71.36 Delayed Quote.23.48%
E.ON SE -1.06% 10.852 Delayed Quote.19.73%
GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY -0.86% 100.47 Delayed Quote.16.28%
GENERAL MOTORS COMPANY -0.37% 51.33 Delayed Quote.23.27%
HONDA MOTOR CO., LTD. 1.00% 3448 End-of-day quote.19.83%
HORIBA, LTD. 2.20% 8370 End-of-day quote.38.35%
IHI CORPORATION -1.78% 2591 End-of-day quote.26.58%
LETS HOLDINGS GROUP CO., LTD. -2.84% 6.5 End-of-day quote.-16.45%
LOOK HOLDINGS INCORPORATED 1.79% 1425 End-of-day quote.48.90%
METRO INC. -1.49% 60.01 Delayed Quote.5.65%
MITSUI & CO., LTD. -1.70% 2512 End-of-day quote.32.95%
NEC CORPORATION 1.11% 6390 End-of-day quote.15.34%
NIKKEI 225 0.58% 30500.05 Real-time Quote.11.13%
ONE STOP SYSTEMS, INC. -1.48% 5.32 Delayed Quote.33.00%
RENAULT -1.20% 28.755 Real-time Quote.-19.59%
SEEK LIMITED -0.42% 30.62 End-of-day quote.7.33%
SHIMADZU CORPORATION 0.93% 5450 End-of-day quote.35.91%
SUZUKI CO.,LTD. -0.78% 896 End-of-day quote.-23.74%
SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION 1.17% 5193 End-of-day quote.8.59%
SWITCH, INC. -0.49% 26.59 Delayed Quote.62.43%
TESLA, INC. 0.33% 759.49 Delayed Quote.7.63%
US DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (USD/JPY) 0.18% 109.895 Delayed Quote.6.30%
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