Report: Automakers Asked to Reveal Kobe Steel Safety Concerns

Letter viewed by wire service has regulator asking 29 car manufacturers for information about products possibly impacted by cheating scandal.

Kobe Steel Ltd. Tokyo Head Office
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Some three months after Japan's third-largest steelmaker became embroiled in a data-cheating scandal, a U.S. regulator is calling on major American carmakers to share whether Kobe Steel products might be a safety concern in their vehicles, Reuters reported, citing a letter seen by the wire service.

Kobe, a global supplier to manufacturers of autos, airplanes, trains, and other industrial products, said in October it sent products with falsified specifications to about 500 of its customers. 

Toyota, Honda, and Nissan Motor said in Japan in October they had not uncovered safety issues with Kobe products.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requested in a previously undisclosed Nov. 8 special order that 29 carmakers—including GM, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Tesla—file Kobe-related reports to the agency, according to Reuters

The NHTSA's request included details about materials testing and documents from Kobe about its products not meeting requirements. Companies had until Dec. 28 to answer the agency's request, but some were granted more time, a person briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The agency in December said its probe would be done by about the end of February, two months behind expectations.