Business / Corporate

Mitsubishi Aluminum loses JIS certification in wake of quality control scandal

JIJI

In a first, a Mitsubishi Materials Corp. subsidiary has lost its Japanese Industrial Standards certification for some aluminum products, the industry ministry said.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said Friday that a private JIS body revoked the certification from Mitsubishi Aluminum Co. after finding that the unit’s quality control system at did not meet its standards and amounted to breaking the law.

It is the first time JIS certification has been revoked over fraud at a Mitsubishi Materials unit.

Certification was pulled for products made at Mitsubishi Aluminum’s plant in Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture. The suspect products were shipped to makers of cars, machinery and building materials, among others.

Through an extraordinary inspection last month, it was found that the firm had JIS-certified products and shipped them without doing the required tests. The certification body concluded that the problem was serious.

“We are deeply sorry for causing a lot of trouble,” Mitsubishi Aluminum said in a statement Friday. “We will handle the matter sincerely and do all we can for our customers.”

Still, a Mitsubishi Aluminum official said there are no safety problems with the products in question.

In November, Mitsubishi Materials apologized for product quality fraud at two subsidiaries: Mitsubishi Shindoh Co. and Mitsubishi Cable Industries Ltd.

Late last month, the parent company unveiled the existence of guidelines that were used to manipulate quality data at the two subsidiaries.

In the meantime, the company has stopped short of disclosing details about the irregularities at Mitsubishi Aluminum, saying its customer-relations problems have been resolved. Mitsubishi Materials then came under a flurry of criticism for failing to provide a complete explanation.

The Kobe Steel Ltd. group was also stripped of JIS certification for products implicated in its quality data falsification.