TOKYO – Over 430 companies of the more than 500 affected by the data falsification scandal rocking Kobe Steel have confirmed that the products made by the Japanese steel giant are safe, the company said on Thursday.
The world’s leading steel manufacturer had previously admitted to having detected that inspection data for at least 18 of its aluminum, copper and iron products – as well as materials used in the production of liquid crystal displays and optical disks – had been falsified and that several employees had covered up the fraudulent practices in the firm.
In a press conference on Thursday, Kobe Steel’s Chairman Hiroya Kawasaki said that 437 of 525 of its customers who had bought products in which specifications were falsified had vouched for their safety.
The company has yet to receive confirmation from the other 88 companies, 26 of which are located overseas, he added.
Kawasaki said that the steel manufacturer will do its utmost to complete its investigation, which so far has uncovered another four possible cases in which the products were falsely certified.
Kobe Steel employees altered inspection certificates so that it seemed the technical data of the products met specifications required by customers when they did not or failed to carry out required product checks.
The scandal has led the company to lose the Japan Industrial Standards certification for some of its copper products made by a domestic subsidiary, while Japanese authorities have called for another 19 Kobe Steel plants to be examined.