- Suzuki Motor Corp.: "We are checking whether we used aluminum from Kobe Steel, and if so, if it is subject to data falsification".
Nissan announced a recall of a million vehicles this month, admitting that workers without proper certification routinely conducted inspections.
Toyota Motor, Central Japan Railway, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mazda Motor and Subaru were among affected customers, Reuters added, citing media reports and statements. CEO Hiroya Kawasaki is now leading a committee to probe quality issues. Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi are also top customers of Kobe Steel and said they are checking whether their vehicles are affected.
Honda also confirmed it used materials with false ratings in its doors and hoods, while Mazda and Mitsubishi are now investigating whether their vehicles are affected. "We recognize that this breach of compliance principles on the part of a supplier is a grave issue".
Probably not, since according to Kobe, the falsification involves four percent of its shipments, and only from September 2016 through August 2017. The impacted products include about 19,300 tons of flat-rolled and extruded aluminum parts, about 2,200 tons of copper strips and tubes, and about 19,400 units of aluminum castings and forgings. "There's a possibility that the company would have to shoulder the cost of a recall in addition to the cost for replacement".
"Nothing in our review to date leads us to conclude that this issue presents a safety concern", it said. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. used some of the metal in question to build regional jets and rockets, but said a successful space launch this week allayed some of its fears. The rocket cleared all safety checks before launch, the company said.
Shares in Kobe Steel plunged 22% today after the Japanese metals firm admitted to falsifying product data. Kobe Steel's aluminum and copper operations account for about 20 percent of total sales, according to data for the quarter ended June 30.
"We want Kobe Steel to make the utmost effort to restore trust from society", he said. "If the aluminium business doesn't work out well, I question where the company can make money", given that profitability at the mainstay steel business remained low, he said.
Analysts say the announcement further tarnishes the reputation of Japan's globe-trotting manufacturers, long celebrated for their high-quality products.
Takata, whose problematic airbags have been blamed for more than a dozen deaths, pleaded guilty in the United States in February for misleading automakers about the safety of the airbags.