Japan automakers find no problem with aluminum parts of Kobe Steel

by SpeedLux
Kobe Steel logo

Four Japanese automakers on Thursday stated they discovered no safety problems with aluminum parts provided by Kobe Steel, easing some concerns that falsified quality information on products from the steelmaker had compromised their automobiles.

Kobe Steel shares rose after the automakers’ statements, however the steelmaker still has to contend with a U.S. Justice Department investigation, while evaluation continue at hundreds of companies associated with complex supply chains covering the world.

Japan’s third-biggest steelmaker confessed previously this month it falsified specifications on the strength and toughness of aluminum, copper and steel products, together with materials for optical disks. The falsifications extend back for over 10 years, a senior executive informed Reuters this week.

Since then, worldwide automakers, aircraft companies and other producers have scrambled to recognize potential dangers in their products.

Toyota Motor, Honda Motor, Nissan Motor and Mazda Motor stated that hoods and other outside parts used in their cars that were made from aluminum directly provided by Kobe Steel were safe.

Kobe Steel shares ended the day almost 7 percent higher but are still down by more than a third given that it announced the data falsification.

Automakers are still making look at other parts, including those that they received through their parts providers.

“We confirmed that the materials satisfy applicable statutory standards, and our own internal standard, for essential safety and durability requirements for vehicles,” Toyota stated.

Toyota recognized aluminum plates supplied by Kobe Steel for the hoods and rear hatches of Toyota and Lexus brand cars. Though outside the automaker’s requirements, they were still safe to utilize.

Where as Subaru and other automakers informed they were still checking the problem, the statements by Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda suggest that Kobe Steel’s cheating scandal may have a limited effect on product safety.

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