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Kobe Steel: More data fabrication cases possible

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Kobe Steel has warned that there may be more cases of falsified product data, in a sign the unfolding scandal could worsen.

The Japanese company has already admitted that products were sold to about 200 firms with false data about their strength and durability.

Toyota, Mazda and General Motors are among the firms affected.

The Japanese government wants the steelmaker to report on the result of its safety checks within two weeks.

The country's trade ministry also wants Kobe Steel to provide reasons for the data fabrication and prevention measures within a month, the company's president, Hiroya Kawasaki, told reporters after meeting with the ministry.

"The credibility of Kobe Steel has plunged to zero. We will make efforts to regain trust as soon as possible," he said.

Share plunge

Kobe Steel revealed on Sunday that some aluminium and copper products shipped from September 2016 to August 2017 were falsely labelled as meeting the specifications requested by customers. It admitted the fabrications may have started a decade ago.

Since then the embattled firm has seen its shares plunge nearly 40% - wiping more than $1.5bn (£1.1bn) off its market value - though the stock stabilised in trading on Thursday.

Mr Kawasaki said he did not expect recalls of cars or airplanes for now, and none of the company's customers had cancelled orders.

But concern has spread across the range of industries - including automotive, train and aircraft manufacturers - that use Kobe Steel's products.

Companies from Japan and abroad are investigating whether the safety of their products has been compromised.


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