Overview: Our Response

(Updated May 18, 2018)

We are continuing remedial actions in response to the misconduct uncovered by the investigations guided by the following four principles.

1. Safety

Safety verification of products containing our nonconforming products is our highest priority.

  • During the course of the self-inspections and internal audits that commenced in April 2017, we found misconduct mainly in the Aluminum & Copper Business. Following this discovery, we immediately ceased shipment of the nonconforming products.
  • We have been working earnestly on safety verification with great cooperation from our customers. To date, we have not encountered any case in which immediate suspension or recall of products containing our nonconforming products.

Please click the link below for an update on safety verification.

2. Accountability

Recognizing our responsibility for the impact of our misconduct upon the society, we are taking all necessary measures to prevent a recurrence.

  • Following the discovery of misconduct in the self-investigations and internal audits, we began contacting our customers to explain about the misconduct. We have also made public announcements regarding the misconduct on a continuous basis since October 8, 2017.
  • The Independent Investigation Committee (hereinafter, the "IIC"), established on October 26, 2018, conducted a full-scope investigation to confirm facts and identify the causes of the misconduct. On March 6, 2018, we published a report, which included measures to prevent a recurrence.
  • We recognize that it is our responsibility to identify the root cause of the misconduct and to formulate as well as fully implement measures to prevent a recurrence. We intend to execute all necessary measures to prevent a recurrence in accordance with the report dated March 6, 2018, and we will make public announcements as necessary.
  • “Guided by our ‘Quality Charter,’ we provide safe, sound and innovative products and services to our customers, and thereby ensure customer satisfaction and contribute to the advancement of the society." - Six Pledges of KOBELCO Men and Women
  • The misconduct has caused tremendous trouble to and has made a considerable impact on society. Reflecting upon our regret, we created the Quality Charter to keep everyone in the Kobe Steel Group reminded of our shared values.

3. Fundamental Reform

We are implementing fundamental reform, including addressing issues within our corporate culture and organizational management structure.

  • Our CEO is promoting the Next 100 Project, company-wide activities for the next 100 years including direct dialogues between top management and employees, with the aim of spreading the Core Values of KOBELCO and Six Pledges of KOBELCO Men and Women throughout the Kobe Steel Group. In addition, in order to reflect upon the lessons learned from the quality misconduct for the prevention of future recurrence, we have designated every October as the “Core Values of KOBELCO” month.
  • Quality assurance from management and business process perspectives are a matter of course, but we will also resolve underlying issues including overall governance that goes beyond the quality issue by improving the fairness and transparency of the Board of Directors.
  • By carrying out measures to prevent a recurrence sincerely and honestly with the leadership of the top management, all members of the Kobe Steel Group together will push forward with fundamental reforms to our organizational structure and corporate culture.

4. Restoring Trust

To fulfill our responsibilities related to the misconduct and to become a company that can be trusted again, we need to go back to our roots (the “Base of Monozukuri”) and recognize that the core of true trust comes from unquestioned quality. We will imprint this fundamental principle into our hearts, strive to prevent a recurrence with unwavering resolution, and commit ourselves to making this moment a true turning point.

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