Toyota Motor Corp. and other major Japanese carmakers said Thursday that aluminum plates provided by Kobe Steel Ltd., which is mired in a data fabrication scandal, and used in the hoods or doors of their vehicles do not affect car safety.
Toyota said in a statement it examined data on faulty Kobe Steel aluminum plates for the past three years and confirmed that "the materials satisfy applicable statutory standards, and our own internal standards, for key safety and durability requirements for vehicles."
The parts were used in the hoods and rear hatchets of Toyota and Lexus vehicles, the carmaker said.
Japan's largest automaker by volume said it verified the strength and durability of the aluminum plates in question, using the data provided by Kobe Steel that was at the furthest remove from Toyota's specifications. The automaker added it will continue to investigate the full impact of the steelmaker's materials on its cars.
"Since the announcement by Kobe Steel covers a wide range of products, we do not regard this matter as closed," Toyota said, adding it will continue to check whether the steelmaker's non-aluminum materials, including copper tubes and wires, have affected its automobiles.
Mazda Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. also said they found no safety concerns regarding Kobe Steel's aluminum panels in their cars.
Honda also uses the material in the doors and hoods of its vehicles. "Based on the results of verification conducted by Honda, we have confirmed that the quality of this aluminum panel material satisfies all of our stringent internal safety standards," Honda said in a statement released Thursday.
Mazda said the parts were used in its MX-5 sports car, known as the Roadster in Japan, and its CX-9 crossover sport utility vehicle sold in the North American market.
Nissan Motor Co. and Subaru Corp. are also currently conducting an investigation to check the safety of their cars that use the steelmaker's products.
Meanwhile, sources close to the matter said Thursday the transport ministry is considering holding a meeting to verify the safety of cars, trains and airplanes that use Kobe Steel's products in response to the scandal.
Kobe Steel has said it has sold products that did not meet quality standards to some 500 companies that are used around the world in cars, trains, airplanes and defense equipment.
The U.S. Department of Justice has requested Kobe Steel to submit documents related to the data fabrication, while the European Aviation Safety Agency has advised aircraft manufacturers to stop procuring materials from the steelmaker.