Kobe Steel, Toyota Hit With U.S. Lawsuit Over Vehicle Metal Quality

U.S. consumers have filed a lawsuit against Kobe Steel Ltd and Toyota Motor Corp accusing the companies of violating consumer protection laws and engaging in fraud by concealing the use of substandard metal components in vehicles.

The proposed class-action lawsuit represents the first U.S. consumer complaint filed against Kobe Steel over an issue that has been dogging Japan’s third-largest steelmaker for nearly five decades.

Kobe, which supplies steel parts to manufacturers of cars, planes and trains around the world, admitted last year to supplying products with falsified specifications to about 500 customers, throwing global supply chains into turmoil.

Earlier on Tuesday, Kobe said its CEO will step down to take responsibility for the widespread data fraud scandal.

The U.S. lawsuit, filed on Monday in federal court in San Francisco, was brought by two California residents who seek to represent a nationwide class of consumers who bought allegedly defective Toyota vehicles.

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The proposed class-action lawsuit represents the first U.S. consumer complaint filed against Kobe Steel over an issue that has been dogging Japan’s third-largest steelmaker for nearly five decades.

Kobe, which supplies steel parts to manufacturers of cars, planes and trains around the world, admitted last year to supplying products with falsified specifications to about 500 customers, throwing global supply chains into turmoil.

Earlier on Tuesday, Kobe said its CEO will step down to take responsibility for the widespread data fraud scandal.

The U.S. lawsuit, filed on Monday in federal court in San Francisco, was brought by two California residents who seek to represent a nationwide class of consumers who bought allegedly defective Toyota vehicles.

Read full article