Japan's Nikkei share average edged up in choppy trade on Tuesday after a three-day weekend as the weak yen supported sentiment, but Kobe Steel's shares were set to plunge after it said it had fabricated data.
Toyota is just one of about 200 companies that used steel, aluminum and other metal products from Japan's third-largest steel manufacturer, and that is raising serious concerns in the wake of revelations by Kobe Steel Ltd that it had falsified data on numerous products it sells for as long as a decade. The Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Corporation, which produces the H-2A launches today, said it believed it safe to use Kobe Steel production. The metal was delivered to more than 200 companies. Automaker, Nissan also recalled more than 1 million cars last week.
Toyota called the revelations a "grave issue", and said it was making checks on where the components were used and what effect they have on products using them.
About 4 percent of the aluminum and copper products shipped from September 2016 to August 2017 were falsely labelled as meeting the specifications requested by customers, Kobe Steel said. Materials were also used in East Japan Railway Co., Central Japan Railway Co. bullet trains in Japan, he said, adding that the trains were inspected after completion and there was no problems with their strength.
Subaru has produced training planes for Japan's Self-Defence Forces and wings for Boeing jets such as the Boeing Dreamliner, according to a spokesman, who said the company was checking which planes and parts used the affected aluminium.
Suzuki Motor and Mitsubishi Motors said they were checking whether their vehicles were affected.
Kobe Steel CEO Kawasaki has run the company since 2013, and has recently overseen moves to expand its presence in aluminum. The misconduct involved dozens of staff and possibly stretched back 10 years, the company said.
Kobe Steel's aluminium and copper operations account for about 20% of total sales, according to data for the quarter ended June 30.
Analysts say the announcement further tarnishes the reputation of Japan's globe-trotting manufacturers, long celebrated for their high-quality products.
"Aluminium is a strategic business for Kobe Steel", said Irisawa at Tachibana Securities.
"This is a serious matter that shakes the foundation of fair commercial transactions", said Yasuji Komiyama, director of the metal industries division of Japan's Industry Ministry.
Kobe Steel has said the impact of the data falsification on its earnings is still unknown.