TOKYO – Kobe Steel plummeted 21.9 percent on Tuesday at the Tokyo Stock Exchange after a frantic session of sell orders, after it admitted to systematically falsifying data regarding some of its products which affects some 200 companies.
Kobe Steel’s shares stood at 1,068 yen ($9.49) at the end of the session, a steep drop from its Friday value as the market reopened after a national holiday in Japan on Monday.
The fall took place two days after Kobe Steel – one of Japan’s three biggest steel manufacturers – had admitted to having manipulated the inspection certificates of some of its products.
“Data in inspection certificates had been improperly rewritten etc. and the products were shipped as having met the specifications concerned,” the steel giant said in a statement released on Sunday.
The manipulation affected in 2016 about 19,300 tons of aluminum products of the flat rolled and extrusions types, some 19,400 units of aluminum castings and forgings and some 2,200 tons of copper strips and tubes, although the practice has been going on for at least 10 years, the company said.
The scandal affects some 200 companies, including heavy machinery manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which used these materials in the rocket H-IIA, launched Tuesday to put a positioning satellite into orbit.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said that it had not detected technical problems related to the said materials and would examine the rest of its devices, according to Japanese newspaper Nikkei.
Other companies which have acknowledged the use of these materials in their products include vehicle manufacturers Nissan, Honda, Mazda and Toyota, as well as Subaru, which used them in the production of its planes.
Central Japan Railway also used these materials in some wagons of high-speed trains and is studying the possibility of replacing the fraudulent components during regular inspections, said Japanese state news agency NHK.
Aluminum is used in vehicles, aircraft and high-speed trains to reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.