Kobe Steel Ltd parts used in Japan’s iconic bullet trains failed industry standards, officials said Thursday, bringing to light fresh evidence of wrongdoing by the steelmaker as investors speculated that the crisis could trigger a breakup of the 100-year-old company.
Central Japan Railway Co, which operates the high-speed trains between Tokyo and Osaka, said two types of aluminum parts used to connect cars to wheels fell short in quality tests, though they don’t pose any safety concerns. West Japan Railway Co, which runs services from Osaka to Fukuoka, also found sub-standard parts made by Kobe Steel, company spokesman Yudai Ochi told Bloomberg by phone.
The latest scandal to hit Japan’s storied manufacturing industry erupted on Sunday after the country’s third-largest steel producer admitted it faked data about the strength and durability of some aluminum and copper. As scores of its clients from Toyota Motor Corp. to General Motors Co. scrambled to determine if they used the suspect materials and whether safety was compromised, the company said two more products were affected and further cases could come to light. The company’s shares steadied after a two-day rout. Read More…
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