Japan prosecutors charge Kobe Steel in fake data scandal

July 19, 2018 - 2:43 am

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese prosecutors are charging major steelmaker Kobe Steel for falsifying data on a wide range of products.

Tokyo prosecutors said Thursday that Kobe Steel is being charged with violating laws overseeing fair competition.

Kobe Steel has repeatedly apologized for the practice but declined comment, saying it had not yet been notified of the charges.

The systematic misconduct spanned years, affecting products sent to more than 680 companies, including aluminum castings and copper tubes for autos, aircraft, appliances and trains.

The scandal, which surfaced last year, has set off a class-action lawsuit and an investigation in the U.S.

Kobe Steel has said zealous pursuit of profit, unrealistic targets and an insular corporate culture were behind the scandal. There have been no reports of accidents related to the fake data.

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