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Kobe Steel Indicted for Decades of Falsified Quality Data


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Kobe Steel Ltd. has been indicted in Tokyo on charges of falsifying quality reports on its metal products for decades.

Prosecutors say the 113-year-old Japanese company, also known as Kobelco, fabricated performance data to conform with client specifications. The then shipped the aluminum, copper and steel products to more than 600 customers worldwide. The group included Toyota Motor Corp. and several other carmakers.

The indictment says the cheating was conducted by more than 40 employees at factories in Mie, Tochigi and Yamaguchi prefectures. Sources tell China’s state-owned Xinhua News Agency that two employees known for repeatedly falsifying quality data eventually became members of Kobe’s board.

The company has admitted it sent bogus quality assurance certificates to clients between September 2016 and September 2017. But the company also acknowledges that falsifying such data has been endemic in the company since the 1970s.

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