Nissan and Toyota admit steel used to manufacture vehicles could be substandard 0

Nissan

Two of the UK’s largest car manufacturers, Nissan and Toyota, are conducting an urgent probe into whether or not crucial body parts may have serious safety flaws.

The two companies are investigating if metals imported from one of Japan’s major exporters could be too weak. Hitachi – the manufacturer of some of Britain’s high-speed trains – could also be affected.  

The allegations have come to light following a scandal engulfing Kobe Steel. The company have revealed that staff were found to be falsifying data on documents and certificates detailing aluminium and copper standards. If initial fears are correct, thousands of tonnes of metal could be affected.

Kobe is one of the globe’s foremost metal exporters, supplying products to numerous companies, Nissan, Toyota and Hitachi amongst them. The firm admitted that metal sold to around 200 companies could be substandard. About 4% of the aluminium and copper shipped from September 2016 to August 2017 was incorrectly classified as meeting customer’s specifications. Kobe have said that the breach could stretch back as far as ten years.

In the UK, the AA has urged carmakers to carry out urgent safety checks on vehicles using Kobe products.

A Nissan spokesman, at the firm’s plant in Sunderland, said that Kobe products were used to make hoods and doors for some of its vehicles, though they could not tell exactly how many cars had been affected.

The spokesman said: ‘As hoods are related to pedestrian safety, we are working to quickly assess any potential impact on vehicle functionality.’

Toyota, based in Burnaston in Derbyshire, said it was considering long-term measures to tackle the ‘grave issue’, adding: ‘Our priority … is the safety of our customers and we are rapidly working to identify if any of our vehicle models may potentially be affected, and via which components.’

Ford has also confirmed it is checking to see if its products were affected.

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