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Kobe Steel Scandal: Millions of Cars Affected

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Costa Fierro
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Kobe Steel Scandal: Millions of Cars Affected

Postby Costa Fierro » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:29 am

MILLIONS of cars sold by Toyota and Honda could be a crash risk after it was revealed they are caught up in the Japanese metal scandal. The manufacturers both said the incorrectly rated aluminium was used in their cars over the last 10 years.

The metal scandal broke after Kobe Steel, one of the key Asian metal producers, said its staff had given false strength and durability ratings. The metals were delivered to hundreds of companies including car manufacturers, aeroplane firms and the space industry. Aluminium produced at four Japanese factories over the last decade - and used in cars - was incorrectly listed as meeting quality standards.

Toyota confirmed it had used the product in doors and other body panels. Honda also said the metal with dodgy ratings was used in doors and bonnets. Mazda and Mitsubishi models could be caught up in the scandal, too.
While Kobe Steel also works with Nissan, Subaru, Ford and General Motors.


Sauce.

In June this year, Japanese firm Takata filed for bankruptcy after a recall of tens of millions of faulty, and thus potentially dangerous, airbags which essentially brought down the company. Now a major steel producer supplying some of the world's largest automotive companies has revealed that aluminium used in vehicles manufactured by companies like Toyota and Honda was incorrectly rated for strength, and thus potentially defective and at risk of causing serious injury and death to passengers and drivers.

What's even more troubling is that while many of these vehicles may have only been sold on the Japanese domestic market, hundreds of thousands of cars leave Japan each year bound for countries who bring them in as grey imports and sell them as affordable second-hand vehicles. Because a lot of vehicles leave Japan before they're 10 years old due to the massive amount of money needed by owners to keep them on the roads, they're often sold off overseas by brokers and other dealers. This means that potentially there are hundreds of thousands of vehicles worldwide with defective aluminium components.

So what say you, NSG? What do you think could be to blame for these such high profile scandals in the Japanese manufacturing industry?
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Albrenia
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Postby Albrenia » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:34 am

I heard something about this. I imagine the car companies will have to issue warnings and/or recalls of the 'defective' products, and see what they can do to get some of the money back they paid on shitty metal.

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Aillyria
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Postby Aillyria » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:34 am

Nothing but utter corporate dishonesty is at hand here. Well, also probably a lack of sufficient quality checking and oversight. It's really sad, considering Toyota, and Japanese businesses in general rightfully pride themselves on their production of high quality machinery.
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Postby Risottia » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:49 am

Do nothing, and blame unions and governmental regulations. The free market will magically fix everything, as usual. /chicagoboy
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Postby Ifreann » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:12 am

Is Kobe Steel fed beer and massaged and pampered?
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Aclion
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Postby Aclion » Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:23 am

Costa Fierro wrote:So what say you, NSG? What do you think could be to blame for these such high profile scandals in the Japanese manufacturing industry?

The manufacturers, right?
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Last edited by Aclion on Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Saiwania
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Postby Saiwania » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:19 am

Nothing needs to be done, if a car breaks down- the owner will get a mechanic or replace it somehow. Cars aren't primarily metal anymore like in the old days. Newer cars will gradually get even better materials, which won't necessarily be metal.

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Postby Ifreann » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:41 am

Saiwania wrote:Nothing needs to be done, if a car breaks down- the owner will get a mechanic or replace it somehow. Cars aren't primarily metal anymore like in the old days. Newer cars will gradually get even better materials, which won't necessarily be metal.

I'm no gearhead, but I'm pretty sure that if the metal in your car is not up to the tolerances the manufacturer thought it was, then it won't be a matter of your car breaking down, it'll be a matter of you dying in a crash you would otherwise have survived.
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Postby Internationalist Bastard » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:50 am

Good thing my car is plastic
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Postby Thermodolia » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:29 am

Internationalist Bastard wrote:Good thing my car is plastic

And good thing my car is American. Chevy baby!!!
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Postby Alvecia » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:37 am

Ifreann wrote:
Saiwania wrote:Nothing needs to be done, if a car breaks down- the owner will get a mechanic or replace it somehow. Cars aren't primarily metal anymore like in the old days. Newer cars will gradually get even better materials, which won't necessarily be metal.

I'm no gearhead, but I'm pretty sure that if the metal in your car is not up to the tolerances the manufacturer thought it was, then it won't be a matter of your car breaking down, it'll be a matter of you dying in a crash you would otherwise have survived.

Well, I mean, it could be a matter of your car "breaking down" while doing 80 down the motorway.
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Postby The Sapphic Benxboro Empire » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:40 am

I own a Honda that's now in the shop for (unrelated?) reasons. Oh my.
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Postby The Empire of Pretantia » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:40 am

That's why I buy American.
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Longweather
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Postby Longweather » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:44 am

I think trusting a company called Kobe Steel to provide aluminum is to blame for this mess. :P

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Postby Purpelia » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:54 am

Ifreann wrote:
Saiwania wrote:Nothing needs to be done, if a car breaks down- the owner will get a mechanic or replace it somehow. Cars aren't primarily metal anymore like in the old days. Newer cars will gradually get even better materials, which won't necessarily be metal.

I'm no gearhead, but I'm pretty sure that if the metal in your car is not up to the tolerances the manufacturer thought it was, then it won't be a matter of your car breaking down, it'll be a matter of you dying in a crash you would otherwise have survived.

To be fair, any sort of mechanical engineer will tell you that standard practice is always to overbuild things exactly for such situations. Back when I was in high school we were taught to use a safety factor of 4. As in if a load bearing surface needed to be 1cm thick we design it to be 4cm thick for safety. So it is very unlikely that this is going to significantly increase the incidence of spontaneous catastrophic failure. What it will effect is the life time of the components, which largely does not matter as people tend to sell off their new cars long before it becomes a problem AND how badly the vehicle performs if it suffers a catastrophic accident due to other causes which is a potential problem.

What this is really about is reputation. Even if you know your vehicle is not going to spontaneously combust while driving when something like this happens you have to come out clean immediately or risk some journalist putting two and two together and "exposing" you as cheating. So you are trading a hit in money now for a far greater hit in reputation later.
Last edited by Purpelia on Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Petrolheadia » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:13 am

Risottia wrote:Do nothing, and blame unions and governmental regulations. The free market will magically fix everything, as usual. /chicagoboy

Actually, despite safety standards that would surprise every non-gearhead (even I, as a gearhead, was surprised by the amount of checks in car building), I'd say about half of all cars will have to go back to the manufacturer for improperly-built parts.

It's usually not really cost cutting, but a guy in QA not stepping up to the task.

Purpelia wrote:
Ifreann wrote:I'm no gearhead, but I'm pretty sure that if the metal in your car is not up to the tolerances the manufacturer thought it was, then it won't be a matter of your car breaking down, it'll be a matter of you dying in a crash you would otherwise have survived.

Except Toyotas aren't really overbuilt. They are relatively thin (yet surprisingly good for derbies).
To be fair, any sort of mechanical engineer will tell you that standard practice is always to overbuild things exactly for such situations. Back when I was in high school we were taught to use a safety factor of 4. As in if a load bearing surface needed to be 1cm thick we design it to be 4cm thick for safety. So it is very unlikely that this is going to significantly increase the incidence of spontaneous catastrophic failure. What it will effect is the life time of the components, which largely does not matter as people tend to sell off their new cars long before it becomes a problem AND how badly the vehicle performs if it suffers a catastrophic accident due to other causes which is a potential problem.

What this is really about is reputation. Even if you know your vehicle is not going to spontaneously combust while driving when something like this happens you have to come out clean immediately or risk some journalist putting two and two together and "exposing" you as cheating. So you are trading a hit in money now for a far greater hit in reputation later.
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Postby Sovaal » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:23 am

Ifreann wrote:Is Kobe Steel fed beer and massaged and pampered?

Helps make it tender. Not exactly something you want from a metal on a death machine, however.
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Postby Risottia » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:33 am

Petrolheadia wrote:
Risottia wrote:Do nothing, and blame unions and governmental regulations. The free market will magically fix everything, as usual. /chicagoboy

Actually, despite safety standards that would surprise every non-gearhead (even I, as a gearhead, was surprised by the amount of checks in car building), I'd say about half of all cars will have to go back to the manufacturer for improperly-built parts.

It's usually not really cost cutting, but a guy in QA not stepping up to the task.

True, true. The problem is that quite often the corporate brass seem way happy when the guys in QA somehow fail to do their job, until they're discovered by the press or the judiciary. Then the QA folks become the obvious scapegoats while the top executives deny any knowledge.
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Postby Geilinor » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:16 am

The Empire of Pretantia wrote:That's why I buy American.

How do you know the American companies are being honest?
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The Empire of Pretantia
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Postby The Empire of Pretantia » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:25 am

Geilinor wrote:
The Empire of Pretantia wrote:That's why I buy American.

How do you know the American companies are being honest?

They've never lied to me before. Right Enron?
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Postby Cannot think of a name » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:46 am

Geilinor wrote:
The Empire of Pretantia wrote:That's why I buy American.

How do you know the American companies are being honest?

Well I have a Volkswagen I should be-...dammit.
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Postby Petrolheadia » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:47 am

The Empire of Pretantia wrote:That's why I buy American.

You may be surprised, but GM and Ford also used to buy from Kobe Steel.
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Postby Eisen Wolf Reich » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:22 am

Thermodolia wrote:
Internationalist Bastard wrote:Good thing my car is plastic

And good thing my car is American. Chevy baby!!!


Too bad they are made in Canada and Mexico.

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Postby The Empire of Pretantia » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:31 am

Eisen Wolf Reich wrote:
Thermodolia wrote:And good thing my car is American. Chevy baby!!!


Too bad they are made in Canada and Mexico.

Better than in China. We can trust our neighbors.
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