December 5, 2017
Kobe Steel, Ltd.
We deeply apologize once again for the enormous amount of trouble we have caused to customers, suppliers, shareholders and many others concerning the improper conduct at Kobe Steel, Ltd. and its group companies.
In regard to the improper conduct in the Kobe Steel Group, we underwent an examination by JIS certification bodies. As problems were found in the quality management system at Kobe Steel’s Aluminum Extrusion & Fabrication Plant at Chofu Works, we received today a suspension notice of our Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) certifications for this facility.
Due to the suspension of the JIS certifications, the Aluminum Extrusion & Fabrication Plant at Chofu Works is unable to ship the concerned products displayed with the JIS mark. However, the plant can supply products that are equivalent to JIS in terms of performance. Responding in sincerity, Kobe Steel will contact and explain the situation to customers to which the concerned products were shipped.
In relation to the improper conduct in the Kobe Steel Group, Kobe Steel announced on November 10, 2017 that it had compiled the “Report on investigation into the causes of the Kobe Steel Group’s inappropriate conducts and on measures to prevent recurrence.” The Quality Assurance Department was also established in the Aluminum & Copper Business on November 10, 2017 and is under the direct control of that business unit. The Quality Assurance Department carries out audit functions for quality control and quality maintenance and is responsible for related training at each business location and group company in the Aluminum & Copper segment.
At Chofu Works on the same date, the quality control function and the quality assurance function were clearly separated. Quality assurance sections, as independent organizations, are under the direct control of the general manager of Chofu Works in order to strengthen the quality control check function.
In addition, in order to prevent falsification and fabrication in inspection procedures, the Kobe Steel Group will promote the implementation of the automatic recording of test inspection data. For test inspection data that cannot be automatically captured, a system will be established whereby a single-person process is eliminated and data is always checked by multiple people.
Based on the findings in a report to be made by the Independent Investigation Committee, which consists only of outside members, Kobe Steel will then proceed to consider various measures, which will be reflected in its final measures to prevent recurrence.
The Kobe Steel Group will steadily implement measures to prevent recurrence and correct the problems that led to the quality management deficiencies, which caused the suspension of the JIS certifications. The Kobe Steel Group aims to restore its JIS certifications and recover the trust of its customers as quickly as possible.
The impact of this incident on Kobe Steel’s business performance is unclear at this time. Kobe Steel plans to make an announcement when the extent of the impact becomes clear.
323.3 billion yen (fiscal 2016, Aluminum & Copper segment)