Kobe Adds Steel Wire to Products with Falsified Quality Tests
Kobe Steel Ltd. says it faked quality data about steel wire and rod made outside Japan and used in such products as tires and car engines.
The disclosure expands the company’s earlier admissions of falsifying performance data for iron powder, aluminum and copper materials made in Japan and sold primarily to domestic customers. Since then, more than 30 companies outside the country have reported using those products.
Carmakers who say bogus Kobe aluminum and other materials ended up in their vehicles include Daimler, Ford, Honda, General Motors, Nissan, PSA, Tesla and Toyota. Falsified Kobe goods also have been used in everything from electronics and air conditioners to airplanes and trains.
Kobe Steel’s stock price has plunged since last Friday from 1,368 yen ($12.20) per share to 805 yen ($7.18) today. Some analysts predict the 112-year-old company could be broken up.
By James Gaffney, Product Engineer, Precision Grinding and Patrick D. Redington, Manager, Precision Grinding Business Unit, Norton Company (Worcester, MA)
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