October 26, 2017
Kobe Steel, Ltd.
At this time, we deeply apologize for the enormous amount of trouble we have caused to customers, suppliers, shareholders and many others concerning the improper conduct in Kobe Steel, Ltd. and its group companies, as well as for the occurrence of this incident.
With regard to the improper conduct of products displaying the JIS mark at the Hatano Plant of Kobelco & Materials Copper Tube Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “KMCT”) announced on October 20, 2017, an examination was undertaken by the JIS certification body, Japan Quality Assurance Organization (JQA). In addition to problems in the quality management system at KMCT’s Hatano Plant, KMCT’s self-inspection period (September 2016 to August 2017) revealed that KMCT had previously shipped products displayed with the JIS mark, although those products did not meet JIS standards (number of customers: 4 companies). As a result, KMCT received today a cancellation notice of its JIS certification.
In the future, KMCT will not be able to ship the concerned products displaying the JIS mark. However, it can supply products that are equivalent to the JIS standard in terms of performance. Responding in sincerity, KMCT will contact and explain to customers to which the concerned products were shipped.
Double checks by managers have begun at KMCT as an emergency corrective measure in order to prevent the reoccurrence of this incident. In the future, KMCT intends to maintain the independence of the quality assurance department, strengthen quality compliance training and undertake other measures in its review of the quality control system. It will also make full efforts to prevent recurrence, restore trust, and aim to reacquire JIS certification as early as possible.
It should be noted that this improper conduct leading to the cancellation of the JIS display certification will be reported to an independent investigation committee that will be newly established. After examining the facts, the committee will determine the causes and consider measures to prevent recurrence. Kobe Steel takes this disciplinary action seriously and plans to undertake investigations prior to the abovementioned self-investigation period on products that displayed the JIS mark.
The impact of this incident on business performance is unclear at this time. Kobe Steel plans to make an announcement when the extent of the impact becomes clear.