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Make Me Smart with Kai and Molly

Episode 122: Space — the final business frontier

Jul 16, 2019

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Kobe Steel falsified data about the strength of its metals used in planes and cars

David Brancaccio and Janet Nguyen Oct 10, 2017
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Parts of  the car you drive or the plane you’re flying on may not be as durable as once thought. 

In a new corporate scandal rocking Japan, Tokyo-based Kobe Steel admitted that it’s been faking data on some of its metal — specifically copper and aluminum. These metals went into products at about 200 companies, including Toyota, Mazda, Subaru, Boeing and Central Japan Railway.

“The scope of it is in some ways is really quite breathtaking,” said Tim McDonald from the BBC. “The greater worry is that this could turn into another Takata — the airbag recalls that have been going on around the world, which started as a much smaller problem and have turned into a $10 billion problem.”

And this isn’t the only scandal that’s been coming out of Japan as of late. 

Nissan announced a recall of a million vehicles this month, admitting that workers without proper certification routinely conducted inspections. And Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this year, which expanded charges related to this unit to $9 billion.

“I guess it does say something about the way corporations in Japan might work, and might point to a slightly bigger problem there,” McDonald said.   

 

 

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