Three Japanese automakers yesterday confirmed the safety of aluminium components made by Kobe Steel Ltd, allaying some concerns that Kobe's falsified quality data had compromised the safety of the products.
Kobe Steel, Japan's No. 3 steelmaker, admitted earlier this month to falsifying the quality data for aluminium and copper products and even optical disks. The falsifications may stretch back for 10 years. Since then, global automakers, aircraft companies and other manufacturers have scrambled to identify potential hazards in their products.
Toyota Motor Corp, Honda Motor Co and Mazda Motor Co said that hoods and other exterior parts used in their cars which were made from aluminium directly supplied by Kobe Steel were safe, prompting a 5 percent jump in Kobe Steel shares. Toyota, one of the world's largest automakers, identified aluminium plates supplied by Kobe Steel for the hoods and rear hatches of Toyota and Lexus brand vehicles. While outside the automaker's specifications, they were still safe to use.