November 24, 2017 / 12:42 AM / 2 years ago

Mitsubishi Materials shares tumble after saying units falsified product data

TOKYO (Reuters) - Shares of Mitsubishi Materials Corp (5711.T) fell as much as 11 percent on Friday after the company said its subsidiaries had falsified product data, the latest in a series of quality assurance scandals involving Japanese manufacturers.

Mitsubishi Materials said that inspection data was falsified on parts used in aircraft, automobiles and industrial machinery sent to more than 200 customers.

Japanese Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko called the misconduct “a betrayal of trust in Japanese manufacturing,” pointing to the amount of time the company took to reveal the wrongdoing.

Mitsubishi Materials said on Thursday that data falsification at one subsidiary, Mitsubishi Cable Industries, was discovered in February.

The unit had distorted data for rubber sealing products, used in aircraft and cars, for two-and-a-half years from April 2015.

Another subsidiary, Mitsubishi Shindoh, had manipulated data for metal products going back to October 2016.

In both cases the company said it had not found any safety or legal problems.

The Nikkei business daily reported a third subsidiary, Mitsubishi Aluminium, also had shipped products out of specification. A company spokesman declined to confirm this.

With the applications for Mitsubishi Materials products including defense equipment, Japan’s defense ministry said in a statement it was working with the company to establish the impact of the wrongdoing.

The news comes after Kobe Steel, Japan’s No.3 steelmaker, admitted in October that workers had tampered with product specifications, shaking up global supply chains.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Stephen Coates

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