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Toray cleaning house with stronger quality control regime

Scandal-hit Japanese company announces preventive measures

Toray Hybrid Cord was found to have falsified inspection data on shipments in 149 instances.

TOKYO -- Stung by a data falsification scandal, industrial materials giant Toray Industries will swiftly appoint a quality control officer to oversee about 250 group companies.

Toray revealed in November that Toray Hybrid Cord, a subsidiary that makes tire cords and other strengthening materials, falsified inspection data on shipments in 149 instances. Nobuhiro Suzuki, president of the offending unit, resigned effective Dec. 1.

The panel of outside experts that Toray brought in to investigate the scandal submitted a report Wednesday detailing how Toray Hybrid Cord's top leadership was indifferent to quality assurance.

To prevent a recurrence, Toray will set up a quality control department headed by a chief quality officer. The team will supervise training and job rotation of quality assurance personnel, and review customer contracts that concern product quality.

Toray is also rolling out a system that takes human interference out of processes from quality data measurements to the issuance of certificates.

The expert committee cited insufficient manpower in Toray Hybrid Cord's quality assurance division, as well as the normalization of overtime to meet deadlines, as contributing factors in the scandal. Toray is expected to announce the result of a separate, groupwide investigation at the end of this fiscal year next March.

"I'll take the initiative to thoroughly instill the Toray group's business ethics and make all efforts to restore trust," Toray President Akihiro Nikkaku said Wednesday.

(Nikkei)

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