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Europe Aviation Agency Warns on Kobe Steel as Scandal Deepens

Europe's air-safety regulator recommended that companies using material from Kobe Steel Ltd. review their supply chains and - if alternative suppliers are available - suspend purchases from the Japanese company that admitted to faking data about product strength.

Japanese authorities, including the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, are investigating the extent of the problem regarding affected parts, the European Aviation Safety Agency said in a statement dated Oct. 17. Several organizations have indicated they will evaluate the concern, EASA said.

The present situation isn’t considered to be an "unsafe condition" that would require the agency to issue a so-called airworthiness directive, EASA said.

“Design approval holders are advised to establish the scope of use of affected parts in its products, paying particular attention to identifying such material usage in more critical applications,” EASA said. “Where alternative suppliers are available, it is recommended to suspend use of Kobe Steel products until the legitimacy of the affected parts can be determined.”

A Kobe Steel spokesman said the company is checking the facts of the matter and isn’t able to comment immediately.

Kobe has said some 500 companies worldwide are in a supply chain tainted by admissions that it falsified certifications on the strength and durability of metals going back to 2007. Automotive giants Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. as well as plane makers Boeing Co. and Airbus SE are among companies that have said they’re reviewing their parts networks after being informed of the issue.

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Japanese authorities, including the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, are investigating the extent of the problem regarding affected parts, the European Aviation Safety Agency said in a statement dated Oct. 17. Several organizations have indicated they will evaluate the concern, EASA said.

The present situation isn’t considered to be an "unsafe condition" that would require the agency to issue a so-called airworthiness directive, EASA said.

“Design approval holders are advised to establish the scope of use of affected parts in its products, paying particular attention to identifying such material usage in more critical applications,” EASA said. “Where alternative suppliers are available, it is recommended to suspend use of Kobe Steel products until the legitimacy of the affected parts can be determined.”

A Kobe Steel spokesman said the company is checking the facts of the matter and isn’t able to comment immediately.

Kobe has said some 500 companies worldwide are in a supply chain tainted by admissions that it falsified certifications on the strength and durability of metals going back to 2007. Automotive giants Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. as well as plane makers Boeing Co. and Airbus SE are among companies that have said they’re reviewing their parts networks after being informed of the issue.

Read Full Article