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Kobe Steel data scandal

Toyota, Mazda, Honda say Kobe Steel aluminum parts are safe

Announcement is first safety confirmation among automakers in Japan

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor, Mazda Motor, and Honda Motor said Thursday that they have confirmed the safety of automotive aluminum plate supplied by scandal-hit Kobe Steel.

This is the first safety confirmation of Kobe Steel products among automakers after Kobe Steel acknowledged last week that it had falsified product-quality data.

Toyota has used Kobe Steel's aluminum plate, including some purchased from parts makers, in hoods, doors and other components. After examining the strength and durability of the materials, the automaker found that they met both the company's internal safety standards and legal requirements.

The company is still confirming the safety of six other items, including aluminum extrusions, copper products, iron powder and steel wire. Toyota has not disclosed details of the safety checks.

Two other Japanese carmakers, Mazda and Honda, have also said aluminum plate purchased directly from Kobe Steel for use in hoods and other car parts met their in-house standards, but they are still verifying the safety of components purchased from parts makers.

Kobe Steel announced on Oct. 8 that it had doctored data on the strength and other specifications for its aluminum parts, and that similar problems were discovered for copper components.

Railway companies, including Central Japan Railway and West Japan Railway, have already checked the strength of the affected parts used in currently operating trains. They said there are no safety concerns associated with the components.


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