(Updated May 18, 2018)


What happened?


After one of our group companies was found in violation of the Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) in June 2016, we established the Quality Management Section in November 2016 and created a system for conducting quality audits and self-inspections across the Kobe Steel Group.

In August 2017, we requested all the group companies to conduct self-inspections of their businesses in the last one year. As a result of the self-inspections at each location, we identified product test data had been falsified or fabricated at several locations. Upon discovering this misconduct, we immediately ceased shipment of the nonconforming products and informed our customers of our findings.

Key facts were identified and confirmed in the subsequent internal investigation, which took place after the misconduct was detected and concluded on October 25, 2017. This information was made public in the Report on Investigation into the Causes of the Kobe Steel Group's Inappropriate Conducts and on Measures to Prevent Recurrence on November 10, 2017. Furthermore, from October 26, 2017, the Independent Investigation Committee (IIC) initiated an investigation, and on March 6, 2018 Kobe Steel released a report based on the findings of the IIC's investigation.


Why did the misconduct occur?


From the findings of the IIC's investigation and our own examination, we believe that there were three fundamental causes of the misconduct as described below.

(1) A management style that overemphasized profitability and inadequate corporate governance
(2) Imbalanced operation of plants that resulted in the reduced awareness of quality compliance among employees
(3) Insufficient quality control procedures that allowed the misconduct to take place

(Source: Report on Misconduct in Kobe Steel Group, dated March 6, 2018)

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Are there any safety concerns for products containing the Kobe Steel Group's nonconforming products?


With the enormous cooperation of our customers, we have continued to make our utmost effort to verify the safety of the products that contains our nonconforming products. Among customers to which nonconforming products were shipped and for products other than those delivered directly to customers, Kobe Steel has identified no cases that would require the immediate suspension of use or immediate recall of customers' products.

Please click the link below for the latest safety update.


How does Kobe Steel intend to regain the trust?


First, we will continue our efforts to complete the safety verification. In the meantime, we will make fundamental reforms to our governance, management and processes in accordance with our March 6, 2018 report while taking into account not only the direct causes of the misconduct but also issues concerning our corporate culture and organizational management systems. Through these efforts, we hope to regain the trust of all people around the world including our customers.

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