Nissan Motors has prompted to recall 1.2 million cars after inspections were made by unqualified staff members. This was after Kobe Steel, the top manufacturer of raw materials, has acknowledged the falsification of data regarding the quality of copper and aluminum sold to the car company.
Kobe Steel has been the main supplier of raw materials for Japanese manufacturers of different products, such as cars, bullet trains, and aircraft. In fact, they have relied greatly on this company as a huge pillar of their economy.
However, the scandal that befell Kobe Steel has reverberated even beyond Japan. It has casted a shadow over the reputation of the country for the manufacturing of important materials. The steel supplier also admitted that employees from 4 of its factories have altered certificates of inspection, particularly on copper and aluminum products from September 2016 to August of 2017.
The said lapse in quality has released specifications making it look as if they have met customers’ requirements, but actually they didn’t. That includes specifications for vital qualities in tensile strength.
Kobe Steel also stated that they are examining other incidents dating back 10 years with regards to falsification of data. However, no proper details about the span of discrepancies covered, which makes it harder to determine if there are threats to safety.
Share price of Kobe Steel has even plummeted by over 20%, first trading day after a holiday. Although there are no deaths or safety issues have been linked to Kobe Steel, the aforementioned scandal has made a soft spot for the Japanese reputation in terms of quality manufacturing.
Nikkei, a Japanese financial newspaper, also stated that this incident has become an issue that would possibly ruin the international trust in Japanese manufacturing.
Japan may have given up on technologies such as smartphones, TVs, and computers, but it still excels in high value products, including specialty chemicals, precision machinery, and cameras and sensors.
Thus, the Japanese quality in which the international market has trusted aided in the preservation of its offshore markets amidst intense competition.