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By Yuka Obayashi
TOKYO, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Kobe Steel Ltd’s Japanese Industrial Standards (JIS) certification has been temporarily suspended at its aluminium extrusion plant in Chofu, western Japan, the company said in a statement on Tuesday, in the latest blow to the embattled steelmaker.
Kobe Steel earlier had the certifications at its Hatano plant revoked for seamless copper pipe products used for air conditioning and refrigerators as well as for insulated copper tubing.
Japan’s third-largest steelmaker, which supplies the manufacturers of cars, planes, trains and other industrial products across the world, has said that about 500 of its customers had received products with falsified specifications, in one of Japan’s biggest industrial scandals.
The latest suspension would last until the aluminium plant improves its quality control and assurance system to prevent falsification in inspection procedures, a company spokesman said.
“We aim to implement such measures as soon as possible,” he said.
Having the quality certifications suspended means the company can no longer sell aluminium and aluminium alloy bars, wires, seamless tubes and extruded shapes with the JIS label from the plant, the statement said.
This potentially restricts the number of customers that can buy the product.
But, it can still supply the products if customers agree to receive them without the quality badge, said the Kobe Steel spokesman.
Japanese manufacturing prowess has taken a hit in recent months due to the Kobe Steel scandal, news of improper final domestic inspection procedures at Nissan Motor and the more recent revelations of data cheating by Mitsubishi Materials Corp and Toray Industries Inc.
Reporting by Yuka Obayashi; Editing by Christian Schmollinger