A Kobe Steel spokesman said the companies received its products but would not confirm they had any of the falsely certified components. Kobe Steel's president, Hiroya Kawasaki, bowed deeply in a formal apology, lamenting that "Trust in our company has dropped to zero". Akihiro Tada, director of the ministry's Manufacturing Industries Bureau, urged the company to move quickly in resolving the problems, which are thought to have affected numerous country's largest manufacturers.
On whether or not he will step down as the company's chief to account for the scandal, Kawasaki said he will fully look into the details of the matter with his responsibility in mind. The government has urged Kobe Steel to clarify the extent of the misconduct.
The beleaguered firm also said on Wednesday that an internal probe had revealed that 140 tons of iron powder shipped in fiscal 2016 did not meet customer specification and that one of its subsidiaries, Kobelco Research Institute, had falsified data related to the production method of liquid crystal displays, DVDs and other electronic equipment. Kobe Steel said it had failed to carry out tests it had agreed to conduct, and improperly "rewrote" inspection data.
Kobe Steel Ltd (5406.T) said on Friday it has also found cases of false certification in its steel division, the latest in a string of revelations confirming widespread cheating at the firm that has engulfed its multinational clients, including Boeing Co.
Earlier the company said that in the year up to August 31 it had sold materials such as aluminum flat-rolled products, aluminum extrusions, copper strips, copper tubes and aluminum castings and forgings using falsified data on such things as the products' strength. "We are rapidly working to identify which vehicle models might be subject to this situation and what components were used", said a Toyota spokesperson.
He added that the root cause of the extensive scandal, that has affected auto giants such as Toyota, Mazda and General Motors, would also be made known within a month. Toyota came out and said that some of that aluminum was used in its vehicle doors and other outer areas while Honda claims to have used affected aluminum in its doors and hoods.
Aircraft maker Boeing said it, too, is looking into the problem but had no reason to believe it was a safety concern.
Could the Kobe Steel Scandal become Japan's new Takata Scandal?