Toyota and Honda affected by industrial scandal in Japan

Kobe Steel's executive vice president Naoto Umehara bows his head to apologize at a news conference in Tokyo Japan in this

Honda equally said it used the falsified material from Kobe Steel in auto doors and hoods while Mazda Motor Corp. confirmed it uses aluminum from the company.

Shares in Japanese manufacturing firm Kobe Steel plunged more than 20 per cent today after it admitted to falsifying data about its products over the weekend. The products were delivered to more than 200 companies, including Toyota, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Subaru.

It said that inspection data on the products, including those on strength and duration of the materials, were rewritten by workers who were "under pressure" to meet a deadline when the actual data failed to meet customer specifications. The false data has been linked back to four aluminium factories in Japan, and for some items, the practice goes back almost 10 years, the executive vice president, Naoto Umehara confirmed. Boeing said in a separate statement, "Nothing in our review to date leads us to conclude that this issue presents a safety concern, and we will continue to work diligently with our suppliers to complete our investigation".

The comments were confirmed by a company spokesman. For its part, Toyota said the news is a "grave issue".

Honda said doors and hoods are affected, while Subaru said vehicles and aircraft are affected. The admission from the steel and aluminium maker follows similar scandals at Japanese companies including Nissan Motor, Mitsubishi Motors and Takata.

Kobe Steel's probe has so far found that data were falsified for about 19,300 tons of aluminium products, 2,200 tons of copper products and 19,400 units of aluminium castings and forgings shipped to clients between September 2016 through August 2017. Materials were also used in East Japan Railway Co., Central Japan Railway Co. bullet trains in Japan, he said, adding that the trains were inspected after completion and there was no problems with their strength. The rocket cleared all safety checks before launch, the company said. The misconduct involved dozens of staff and possibly stretched back 10 years, the company said.

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"This is a serious matter that shakes the foundation of fair commercial transactions", Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry metal industries division Director Yasuji Komiyama said.

The false data supplied to automakers was meant to make metals look like they met clients' quality standards.

And this isn't the only scandal that's been coming out of Japan as of late.

"Aluminium is a strategic business for Kobe Steel", said Irisawa at Tachibana Securities.

Toyo Tire & Rubber officials were referred to prosecutors in March following the company's 2015 admission that it had falsified data on rubber for earthquake-proofing buildings.

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