Another Japanese industrial scandal has grown on Wednesday after Kobe Steel, the third-largest Japanese metal concern, has added a new metal to the list of products it has probably falsely reported. Japanese largest steel producer and supplier of global companies such as Boeing, Toyota and Nissan has admitted over the weekend that falsified the inspection data of about 20,000 metric tons of metals shipped to about 200 customers from the beginning of the year to August 2017.
On Wednesday, Kobe Steel added the steel to the list of affected metals, confirming that the steel powder sent to a customer did not meet the customer’s specifications and worked with him to “determine the type of affected products and see if has had some effect on the products”. The steel powder is usually used to produce gears and other parts.
It is a key material for the production of automotive parts, as it can easily be shaped in various forms. On Wednesday, leading Japanese automakers announced they have difficulty assessing the safety of Kobe’s cars.
Earlier, it became clear that company officials falsified data on the strength and durability of a range of aluminum and copper products used in aircraft and trains and even planned to be embedded in space shuttles.
Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Mitsubishi Motor, Subaru and Mazda joined Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and IHI aviation companies using Kobe Steel products.
Today, Kobe stocks on the Tokyo Stock Exchange declined by another 19.1%, as yesterday the collapsed was 22%. Together with the fall of the previous two days, the overall decrease in market capitalization of Kobe Steel amounted to almost 40%.
The stocks of Toyota, Honda and Subaru are also down, as they had used the materials in the car assembly. The Hitachi conglomerate, in turn, announced that such materials were also used on company trains that were exported to the UK.
According to initial calculations, the potential replacement costs will be about 133 million USD. But the big problem is the reputation of Kobe Steel. The company’s stock sank on Monday, and for the time being, there are at least no recovery signals. In all likelihood, the Japanese manufacturer faces several court cases that will lead to even greater financial problems.