Tokyo – Kobe Steel Ltd has confirmed that its premises have been raided by Japanese investigation authorities in relation to the company’s misreporting of test data across a range of its products.
“We sincerely apologise for causing substantial trouble to all relevant parties,” said a statement from Kobe Steel, adding that it is continuing to cooperate with the investigation.
Kobe Steel did not give details about the latest development, though Nikkei reported that officers from Tokyo’s prosecutors office and police department had, on 5 June, raided the steelmaker's Tokyo and Kobe offices.
The action is the latest twist in a scandal that emerged last October when an internal Kobe Steel investigation uncovered “improper conduct” around test procedures and reporting in its iron & steel, aluminium and copper businesses.
Among a series of admissions, the group revealed that some of its iron & steel companies, both in Japan and overseas, had supplied a series of “nonconforming products.”
The ‘non-conformance’ investigation extended to Kobe Steel’s tire & rubber machinery activities, though no problems were subsequently reported.
Some media reports suggested that tire-reinforcement products from Kobe Steel were also involved in the scandal. But, again, no problems were reported by the company in this area.