Kobe Steel’s Falsified Aluminum Data Affects Subaru, Boeing, Mazda, Toyota

Japan Economic Newswire

October 10, 2017

Subaru Corp. said Monday it has been using Kobe Steel Ltd.’s aluminum products with falsified inspection data in its cars and aircraft, shedding more light on companies affected by the decade-long systematic misconduct by the steelmaker.

The Japanese Self-Defense Forces and U.S. aerospace giant Boeing Co. are among the Subaru clients purchasing its aircraft or aircraft parts.

The automaker’s announcement came a day after Kobe Steel said it has shipped aluminum and coal products with rewritten inspection data, such as those on strength, to around 200 undisclosed companies.

Following the revelation by the steelmaker, some companies have said they had been using the steelmaker’s aluminum with falsified data, including Toyota Motor Corp. for some of its cars, Central Japan Railway Co. for its shinkansen bullet trains and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. for Mitsubishi Regional Jet passenger planes.

Mazda Motor Corp. also said Monday it was using Kobe Steel’s aluminum products in its passenger cars.

The automakers said they are checking whether there are any safety repercussions arising from the use of the aluminum products. A Subaru official said the company will place “utmost priority on the safety of customers using our products.”

If a lack of strength is found in key vehicle parts, the data fabrication could develop into a massive recall by automakers.

Subaru sold some 160,000 vehicles in Japan in fiscal 2016 that ended in March 2017. Its flagship models include the wagon Levorg and Forester sport utility vehicle. The company also manufactures trainer aircraft for the SDF and central wings for the midsize Boeing 787.

Known for its Axela sedan and CX-5 sport utility vehicle, Mazda sold about 200,000 units in Japan in fiscal 2016.

Mitsubishi Heavy and Central Japan Railway, known as JR Tokai, said Sunday the falsified data does not impair the safety of the MRJ planes and shinkansen trains.

Original headline: Kobe Steel’s falsified aluminum data hits Subaru cars

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