Kobe Steel Ltd. said Thursday a subsidiary has lost the Japanese Industrial Standards certification for some products due to product quality data falsification.
Kobe Steel, the third-biggest steelmaker in Japan, also said it has found a total of four new suspected cases of data tampering at some group companies, including the parent itself.
The JIS certification was removed from copper and copper alloy seamless tubes made at a plant of the subsidiary, Kobelco & Materials Copper Tube Co., in Hadano, Kanagawa Prefecture.
Through a reexamination after the scandal emerged early this month, a private JIS certification body has concluded that the tubes shipped by the plant did not meet JIS requirements.
Kobe Steel also said probes so far have found there are no products that must be recalled or whose use must be stopped immediately due to product quality problems.
The Kobe Steel group shipped products whose data were falsified to a total of 525 companies. So far, safety has been confirmed for products shipped to 437 of the affected clients, Kobe Steel said, adding that the probes are still going on.
“I again extend my deep apology for causing trouble,” Hiroya Kawasaki, president of the parent company, told a news conference.
Kawasaki also said his company hopes to restore the JIS certification for the tube products soon.
Only last year, Kobe Steel saw a different group company stripped of the JIS certification for part of its products due to data falsification.
Kobe Steel has so far conducted investigations into the latest scandal mainly through an internal team. The probes will be taken over by a new investigative panel of outsiders set up on Thursday.
The new team, which has three lawyers, will complete the investigations as early as the end of the year.
The scandal has affected a wide range of industries, as Kobe Steel’s products are used in various products, including automobiles, train cars and aircraft.
Kobe Steel reported the misconduct to the industry ministry on Oct. 12. The company was told to report the results of its investigations in about two weeks.