Kobe Steel Ltd’s tampering with specifications has led to a scramble among the 525 customers currently affected to check the safety of their cars, planes, trains and other products.
The metals from Kobe Steel whose specifications have been falsified have been used in a dizzying array of products including air conditioners, Blu-ray discs, car doors, computer chips, copper pipes, heat exchangers, gear boxes, nuclear power plant parts, ship engines and space ships.
No safety issues have been reported.
Customers that have received falsely certified parts include:
Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co, Honda Motor Co, Mazda Motor Corp, Subaru Corp, Mitsubishi Motors Corp and Daihatsu Motor Co Ltd.
Honda said affected products have been used in its HondaJet, the first aircraft developed by an automaker since World War Two.
Other affected manufacturers include the world’s biggest maker of passenger jets Boeing Co BA.N, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd and IHI Corp.
Railway operators across Japan including Central Japan Railway Company Co (JR Tokai), East Japan Railway Co (JR East), West Japan Railway Co (JR West), Tokyo Metro Co Ltd and Hankyu Hanshin Holdings Inc.
Chugoku Electric Power Co Inc, Hokuriku Eletric Power Co, Japan Nuclear Fuel Ltd, Kansai Electric Power Co Inc, Kyushu Electric Power Co Inc and Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc (Tepco).
Other products using affected metals include:
Air conditioners from Mitsubishi Electric Corp.
Aircraft parts and engine components from Kawasaki Heavy Industries.
Blu-ray discs from Panasonic Corp.
Cooling equipment from Toshiba Corp.
Defence equipment from makers MHI, IHI, Kawasaki Heavy and Komatsu Ltd.
Gearboxes for aircraft and vacuum pumps from Shimadzu.
Heat exchangers from Toyota-affiliated parts manufacturer Denso Corp.
Motorcycles from Suzuki Motor Corp.
Ship engines from Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co Ltd.
Kobe Steel is intergrated into global supply chains, supplying metals to companies including Bosch Ltd, Hyundai Motor Co, Kia Motors, Ford Motor Co and Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC.
The steelmaker makes wire rod for engine valve springs found in half the world’s cars, aluminium discs for half of the world’s hard drives and 40 percent of the engine crankshafts used in large ships.
Kobe Steel is Asia’s No.1 manufacturer of semiconductor leadframes, the base material for chips, and one the world’s top makers of the large forged casks used to store spent nuclear fuel.
Reporting by Sam Nussey, Yuka Obayashi, Osamu Tsukimori, Joe White, and Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan