Kobe Steel Falsified Quality Data for Metal Used in Cars

Kobe Steel Chairman

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Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) is one of several companies said to be at risk of potentially weak steel materials provided by Kobe Steel.

The Japanese metals company is embroiled in a massive scandal where it's accused of manipulating inspection data on steel, aluminum, and other metals.

Akihiro Tada, director of the ministry's Manufacturing Industries Bureau, urged the company to move quickly in resolving the problems, which are thought to have affected numerous country's largest manufacturers.

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The company said in a statement late Wednesday that it had uncovered manipulation of data on steel powder used in metallurgy and also on high-tech materials used to create films used in computer chips. The government has urged Kobe Steel to clarify the extent of the misconduct.

"This incident of improper conduct came to light following self-inspections and emergency quality audits of the compliance status of contracts executed as to products shipped over the past year", Kobe Steel said in a news release.

But it said most of those materials, used to deposit thin films from various materials onto components such as computer chips, were reinspected and are thought to have met customers' specifications.

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Kobe Steel, Japan's third-largest steel maker, has announced that between September 1, 2016 and August 31 of this year it sold aluminum and copper materials using falsified data on such things as the products' strength.

Kobe announced that the affected materials included aluminum flat-rolled products, aluminum extrusions, copper tubes, copper strips, and aluminum castings and forgings.

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