Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi, Mazda and Subaru all used parts from Japanese steelmaker embroiled in quality control scandal

Kobe Steel admitted to falsifying data linked to the strength and quality of its products, and says it could affect items sent to as many as 200 companies

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 October, 2017, 3:55pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 October, 2017, 9:32pm

Six of Japan’s best-known carmakers including Nissan and Honda used products from Kobe Steel, a report said on Wednesday, after the firm admitted to falsifying quality data in a growing scandal.

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

Auto giant Toyota has already said Kobe Steel supplied materials to one of its Japanese factories, which used them in hoods, rear doors and surrounding areas of certain vehicles.

According to Nikkei, the transport ministry has asked the car manufacturers to conduct urgent checks to see if recalls are necessary.

The growing scandal is the latest in a string of quality control and governance scandals to hit major Japanese businesses in recent years, undermining the country’s reputation for quality.

It is an additional headache for Nissan, which has already announced a recall of more than a million vehicles in the domestic market over a certification issue.

The Kobe Steel scandal broke on Sunday when the manufacturer admitted to falsifying data linked to the strength and quality of products.

An internal investigation revealed data was fabricated for about 19,300 tonnes of aluminium products, 2,200 tonnes of copper products and 19,400 units of aluminium castings and forgings shipped to clients between September 2016 through August 2017.

The firm’s share price dived 22 per cent on Tuesday, finishing at 1,068 yen (US$9.50), its maximum daily loss limit – wiping almost a billion dollars off the company’s market value.

At the open on Wednesday, the stock was down 17 per cent.

The company said the fabrications, which might have started a decade ago, could affect products sent to as many as 200 companies.

It was not clear whether the scandal affects the safety of their products.