August 9, 2019
Kobe Steel, Ltd.
As announced in the "Civil Complaint Filed Against Kobe Steel, Ltd. and A Few Other Kobe Group Companies" dated March 14, 2018, a civil complaint was filed against Kobe Steel, Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Kobe Steel"), Kobe Steel USA Inc. (100% of its equity held by Kobe Steel (Note)), Kobe Steel International (USA) Inc. (100% of its equity held by Kobe Steel (Note)) and Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products, LLC (60% of its equity held by Kobe Steel (Note)), all of which are the subsidiaries of Kobe Steel (Kobe Steel and the subsidiaries collectively hereinafter referred to as the "Companies"), in the United States District Court, Northern District of California (hereinafter referred to as the "Court")
As announced in the "Court Granted the Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Civil Complaint Filed Against Kobe Steel, Ltd. and A Few Other Group Companies" dated July 23, 2019, the Court granted the Companies’ motion to dismiss the first amended complaint (hereinafter referred to as the "Order") in this litigation, with leave to amend the complaint. On August 8, 2019 (local time), the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint in this litigation.
(Note) The percentage of equity held is inclusive of Kobe Steel’s indirect shareholding.
The lawsuit relates to certain metal products manufactured by Kobe Steel (hereinafter referred to as the "Products") allegedly used in certain vehicle models of a specific automotive manufacturer which is one of the co-defendants in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs were a purchaser or lessee of vehicles manufactured with certain metal products allegedly manufactured by Kobe Steel.
On March 6, 2018 (local time), the plaintiffs brought this lawsuit to the Court, claiming the violation of implied warranties and other causes of action alleging that, if the fact that the Products did not meet the certain tensile strength, thickness or other specifications had been disclosed to them, they would not have paid the amount actually paid to purchase or lease the vehicles, and further, because of the use of such Products the resale value of their vehicles has diminished.
On July 18, 2019 (local time), the Court granted the motion to dismiss filed by the Companies. The Court granted, by the Order, the plaintiffs leave to amend the complaint one last time. The due date to amend the complaint was 21 days from this Order.
On August 8, 2019 (local time), the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint. While the Companies are now reviewing the details of the second amended complaint, this time it does not name the specific automotive manufacturer, which was one of the co-defendants in the initial lawsuit, as co-defendant.
We cannot determine how the lawsuit may have an impact on the business performance of the Kobe Steel group. The Companies will take appropriate measures to vigorously defend itself against the lawsuit.