TOKYO – Japanese authorities raided steel manufacturer Kobe Steel’s headquarters in Tokyo on Tuesday as part of its investigation into data a tampering scandal, a company spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday.
The scandal hit the company’s credibility and led to a reshuffling of its board.
Kobe Steel said it is cooperating with the investigative authorities, who are determining whether the data fraud will lead to any criminal charges.
The company admitted at the end of 2017 to falsifying the technical data of its products, including aluminum, steel and other materials. They were sent to more than 600 companies worldwide in various industries such as the automobile, military, aerospace, and railway sectors.
The practice included the falsification of inspection data on product certificates, which makes the materials appear to meet customers’ requirements.
There have been no complaints from customers about the affected products so far.
According to an internal report presented by the company in March, the data fraud began in the 1970s, and involved some 40 employees.
Kobe Steel is also subject to another investigation launched by the US Department of Justice, as its subsidiary Kobe Steel USA is suspected of supplying US companies with affected products.