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Fraud by Japanese Steelmaker Raises Major Safety Concerns for Automakers

Most key Japanese carmakers used products from Kobe Steel.

by on Oct.10, 2017

Toyota is one of 200 companies potentially impacted by Kobe Steel's fraudulent practices; however, its U.S. built vehicle appear to be unaffected.

Toyota is just one of about 200 companies that used steel, aluminum and other metal products from Japan’s third-largest steel manufacturer, and that is raising serious concerns in the wake of revelations by Kobe Steel Ltd that it had falsified data on many of the products it sells for as long as a decade.

The news comes as the latest in a series of scandals and embarrassments for Japanese companies that long were seen as putting quality and safety above all else. The list includes Takata Corp., the Japanese supplier blamed for producing tens of millions of defective airbags linked to over a dozen deaths, as well as Mitsubishi Motors, which falsified mileage data. That carmaker was taken over last year by Nissan which is now embroiled in its own flap over safety testing.

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For now, it is unclear just how serious the problem involving Kobe just might be, and how many of its customers – and how many of their customers – might be impacted. For its part, Toyota said the news is a “grave issue.” (more…)