By Tom Davis
Tokyo, Japan — November 24, 2017 — A division of the Mitsubishi Group has become the latest Japanese company to admit to falsifying product data, after it called a press conference in the wake of the Kobe Steel scandal.
Mitsubishi Materials said three of its subsidiaries – Mitsubishi Cable Industries, Mitsubishi Shindoh and Mitsubishi Aluminium – had falsified data for products supplied to the automotive, aerospace and power industries.
Executives of the company and its three subsidiaries bowed before reporters as they admitted to the scandal, which dates back to at least 2015. Shares fell by as much as 11% upon the announcement.
Mitsubishi Cable falsfied data on some $264m USD ($335m CAD) worth of sealing materials used for joining metal parts such as pipes. These materials were shipped between April 2015 and September this year to 229 firms – including seven car makers.
Mitsubishi Shindoh was found to have rigged data on copper products supplied to 29 companies, and Mitsubishi Aluminium also supplied products with falsified data but the company claimed they were safe to use.
Mitsubishi Materials said it had not identified any instances of illegal conduct or concerns relating to safety at the Mitsubishi Cable and Mitsubishi Shindoh divisions.
A statement from Mitsubishi Materials read: “At the outset, we sincerely apologize for any problems and difficulties that this matter has caused to all concerned parties. MMC and all of our group companies are strengthening our quality control framework and working on remedial measures to prevent recurrence of these issues.”
It follows the Kobe Steel scandal that saw the company’s aluminum and copper business supply thousands of tons of materials to OEMs that did not meet the required specifications. 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 between September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017.
Kobe Steel blamed a focus on profits and a rigid organizational structure as the reason behind its falsified data.