A member of the Mitsubishi group has become the latest Japanese company to be caught out over quality control after admitting it falsified data about some products.Mitsubishi Materials said three of its divisions had falsified data for products supplied to the aerospace, car and electric power industries.It opened an investigation in the wake of the Kobe Steel scandal. Mitsubishi Materials has “sincerely apologised” for the manipulation.It promised to strengthen its quality control procedures to stop the problem being repeated. What is happening with Japan Inc?
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One division, Mitsubishi Cable, falsified data on sealing materials used for joining metal parts such as pipes.The materials, worth $264m, were shipped between April 2015 and September this year to 229 firms, including 70 in the aerospace industry and seven car makers.Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Shindoh was found to have rigged data on copper products supplied to 29 companies.No safety or legal problems had been found from either case, Mitsubishi Materials said.Mitsubishi Aluminium also supplied products with falsified data, but they had been deemed safe to use.
In September, Kobe Steel – Japan’s third-largest steelmaker, admitted fabricating data on the quality of some products, possibly for more than a decade. No safety issues have yet been reported.Mitsubishi Materials has a 45% share in a copper tube joint venture with Kobe Steel, including the Hatano plant that is at the centre of the Kobe scandal.Several other Japanese companies have admitted falsifying data. Mitsubishi Motors last year admitted rigging data about the fuel efficiency of some 625,000 cars sold in Japan, while Nissan and Subaru have also come clean.Air bag maker Takata filed for bankruptcy in June over faulty airbags which were blamed for several deaths and many injuries.