Japanese Automotive Steel Supplier Faked Strength Data On Some Parts

Japanese steel manufacturer Kobe Steel Ltd. is in the midst of a scandal following revelations that its staff falsified data about the strength and durability of various aluminum and copper parts used in a variety of industries, including the automotive world and used by Toyota, Honda and Subaru.

Bloomberg reports that the three automakers are planning legal action against Kobe Steel with Toyota revealing that it used the company’s materials in its hoods, doors and peripheral areas.

Kobe Steel asserts that it delivered materials to over 200 companies and falsified strength details about the metals to make them appear as if they met the quality standards of clients. It has been determined that the fabrication of figures was systematic and occurred at all four of Kobe’s aluminum plants in Japan.

In a statement, Toyota spokesman Takashi Ogawa said the carmaker was working to determine affected vehicles.

“We are rapidly working to identify which vehicle models might be subject to this situation and what components were used. We recognize that this breach of compliance principles on the part of a supplier is a grave issue.”

Kobe Steel claims that the falsification of figures impacts products shipped from September 2016 to August 2017. Estimates say it could cost $133 million to replace the parts.


  • autosharero

    LOL, Japanese are going to turn out to be worse than Chinese. My worry is that some of that aluminium has been used in aeroplanes. Who is next. Maybe we will find out that Honda engines are made out of cheese….oh wait,,we already know that

    • I’mCallingYouOut

      Honda engines are made out cheese? YUM!

    • Status

      Your worry is that some of that aluminium has been used in aeroplanes? Generally, the people who make planes want to use aluminum as much as possible.

      • autosharero

        It is exactly what I said. That some of that aluminium is used in aeroplanes…
        “Generally, the people who make planes want to use aluminum as much as possible.” ?????
        That generally they want to use as much as possible ????,,I don’t get it…

        • Status

          Aluminum is lighter than steel, and the people who make aircraft use aluminum extensively.

          If you can’t understand why this is important in an aircraft, then I can’t help you.

          • Astonman

            He understands that aluminum is lighter than steel. His fear is some of the “bad” aluminum were used on airplanes.

          • Status

            My mistake. It wasn’t clear to me.

          • Astonman

            no worries. Have a great day:)

      • Eunos

        It’s worrying because planes are exposed to much bigger forces than cars and if the aluminium isn’t up to standarts, it may result in disastrous effect

    • pureworx

      yeah they are made of cheese.. unlike germen engines built of plastic and cardboard.. at least i can eat mine if it ever goes pop… 250k miles thrashed 75% of the time and still going strong.

      • autosharero

        You keep your 250k miles Honda cheese engine. I will keep my plastic and cardboard 360k miles Porsche engine.

        • SteersUright

          G-d only knows what your maintenance bills add up to on any Porsche engine kept running for that long. Porsche engines are very high strung, require periodic rebuilds, break all the time, and while exciting, powerful and sound great (to me), are completely incomparable to Japanese engine longevity.

    • Auf Wiedersehen

      Mmmm cheeeese…

  • Auf Wiedersehen

    Honestly! Is there no industry, population or culture that’s honest anymore? And on a side note, that Cylon Camry is just flat out hideous! Apparently the Japanese designers these days have never heard “less is more”….good lord!

  • Dennis James

    Another 5 million cars recalled…:))

  • PhilMcGraw

    While this is likely to be a big headache for Toyota, Subaru, and Honda to replace the affected vehicles, it should be noted that even with these steel supplies not meeting the strength standards that they were promised it didn’t seem to really have a detrimental affect on crash ratings. Last time I checked, each of those manufacturers showed stellar ratings in crash tests using the steel that is supposedly affected.

    So, this actually could turn out to be a bigger win for consumers because if they do replace the steel with one that does meet the strength standards they set out to achieve, then that could mean even better crash results and could maybe improve other driving dynamics. Unless I am missing something here, as it could have been that the quality was all over the place. In that case, then it would be an even bigger problem.

  • Cupboi

    WTF is happening to the Japanese lately? They used to be outsdanding, honest, and have integrity, and now it seems like the whole country is run by the Yakuza. Tbh, i always thought Shinzo Abe was kind of a sleazeball…

    • brn

      The Japanese are have no more honesty and integrity than Americans.

      In actuality, people from both countries (and many more countries) are pretty darned good folk. Americans just have one big problem. We hate ourselves and think the best of others.

    • Astonman

      I’m disappointed to hear this too because how much the Japanese believe in honor. But this is attributed to the executives. Remember this – the last Japanese disaster with the earthquake and tsunami – no looting. Says a lot about the people there. Dropping by in 2 weeks.


    • Astonman

      Silly MICHGO – it’s designed to drive over guys with hairy backs.

  • SteersUright

    Whoa! This could get WAAAAY mor expensive than $133mil if many cars are suddenly deemed unsafe!