Mitsubishi Materials shares tumble after firm says units falsified product data


Shares in Mitsubishi Materials plunged more than 8% today after it admitted to falsifying product data, the latest major Japanese firm to acknowledge problems with quality control.

Mitsubishi Materials' subsidiaries falsified specification data before shipping some of its products to clients, the company said, adding that it is working with affected clients to ensure product safety.

Buyers of Japanese industrial goods from Boeing Airbus SE were once again scrambling to confirm whether safety had been compromised, after Mitsubishi Materials said three of its units had faked data on products that may have been delivered to more than 250 customers.

Mitsubishi Materials said it first became aware of the "misconduct" at its divisions in February and opened an investigation in the wake of the Kobe Steel scandal.

And in one of the best known cases, air bag manufacturer Takata Corp. filed for bankruptcy earlier this year due to faulty products.

Irregular practices, which affected products sold to hundreds of companies around the world, included the handling of inspection certificates to make it appear that the technical data complied with requirements, the falsification of labels or even the omission of inspections.

Mitsubishi Materials has a 45% share in a copper tube joint venture with Kobe Steel, including the Hatano plant that is at the centre of the Kobe scandal.

But he refuted suggestions he would step down or cut his salary, insisting that his duty was to identify the cause of the scandal and take preventive measures.

According to the Thursday statement by Mitsubishi Materials, Mitsubishi Cable uncovered the misconduct in February and stopped shipping non-conforming products on October 23 before the company told its parent firm two days later.

Japan's Nikkei recouped early losses and ended slightly higher on Friday as expectations that the Bank Of Japan would buy more exchange-traded funds offset drops in automakers. It said it found problems at Mitsubishi Shindoh going back to October 2016. Kobe Steel fell by 1.2% in the morning.

Boeing Co is now looking into the issue, a company spokeswoman said.

Index heavyweigts rose, with SoftBank Corp9984.T gaining 1.4 percent and KDDI Corp9433.T advancing 2.6 percent.