Kobe Steel Ltd. said Tuesday it has been asked by the U.S. Justice Department to submit documents related to its data fabrication scandal, as the company delivers its products to a wide range of industries in the United States from carmakers to airlines.
Kobe Steel said that its subsidiary Kobe Steel USA, Inc. had been called on by the department to submit papers related to affected products sold to U.S. customers.
The company and its subsidiary "will cooperate with the authorities with sincerity," Kobe Steel said in a statement released Tuesday. The company added the impact of the data falsification scandal on its earnings is still unknown.
The data fabrication scandal engulfing Japan's third-largest steelmaker threatens to deepen further amid rising safety concerns in the United States that could trigger an investigation.
General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co., Airbus and Boeing Co. are also reportedly investigating whether they used any of the materials.
Investigations by judicial authorities could lead to congressional hearings that are held in the United States to probe quality issues. Takata Corp.'s massive global recall of its airbags also resulted in such hearings.
Kobe Steel's products are used globally in cars, trains, airplanes and defense equipment. Nissan Motor Co., Honda Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., as well as major Japanese railway companies are among companies that used Kobe Steel materials with falsified data.