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Japanese data scandal deepens as Toray becomes latest to admit cheating

By Tom Davis

Tokyo, Japan — December 4, 2017 — Toray Industries has become the latest company to be embroiled in the Japanese fake data scandal. Toray Hybrid Cor, a subsidiary of the company, admitted it had overwritten data that was provided in inspection reports to customers.

The car-parts manufacturer said it had investigated approximately 40,000 data entries, and 149 of those had been overwritten to fall within the standards set in contracts with customers. Products with falsified data include tire cords, cords for car hose belts, and cords for paper making. It affects the period between April 2008 to July 2016, with some 13 customers involved.

Toray’s President Akihiro Nikkaku, admitted to the scandal at a press conference. He said the company had known about the data tampering for about a year, but it had not intended to make the matter public because it had not found any safety problems.

A statement from the company read: “The total number of data entries overwritten is very few. The amount by which the data was adjusted to fit customer contract standards was insignificant and it is thought that there is no substantial difference in the quality of the product produced. We currently are reporting the issues to customers, but as of yet have not received reports of any problems in the performance and safety of the products concerned.”

The company joins both Mitsubishi Materials and Kobe Steel, which have previously admitted to falsifying product data. Three of Mitsubishi Material’s subsidiaries – Mitsubishi Cable Industries, Mitsubishi Shindoh and Mitsubishi Aluminium – have admitted to changing product data, while Kobe Steel previously admitted that inspection certificates had been “improperly rewritten” for 19,300 tons of aluminum products, 2,200 tons of copper products and 19,400 units of aluminum castings and forgings.

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