National

In survey of Japan's makers of quake shock absorbers, 81 firms say they haven't fabricated data

Kyodo

Eighty-one of 86 Japanese makers of earthquake shock absorbers that have filed reports with the ministry found no instances of product quality data fabrication, infrastructure minister Keiichi Ishii said Friday.

After major hydraulic machinery-maker KYB Corp. admitted to fabricating data on shock absorbers installed in around 1,000 buildings nationwide, the infrastructure ministry ordered makers of the products to report whether they had ever falsified inspection data.

Ishii told reporters he will urge the remaining five makers to submit their reports as soon as possible.

KYB, a Tokyo-based industrial component manufacturer with the largest share of the seismic isolator and damping device market in the country, recently admitted to fabricating quality inspection data for oil damper products.

A subsidiary of Kawakin Holdings Co., another Japanese maker of earthquake shock absorbers, also admitted to fabricating data.

The initial deadline for the reports had been set for the end of the year, but it was moved up following the discovery of data fabrication at a second company.

Data was fabricated on products which had failed quality inspections so delivery deadlines could be met. The alternative was to disassemble products and conduct more tests, requiring additional time.

On Friday, KYB disclosed the names of 18 more buildings with quake shock absorbers with falsified inspection data. That is in addition to the 70 buildings identified last week.

The 18 buildings include the Ishikawa Prefectural Central Hospital in Kanazawa; community center SouthPeer in Saitama; and the Ehime Prefectural Central Hospital in Matsuyama.

The ministry said it will form an expert panel on Nov. 9 to draw up proposals to prevent a similar scandal from occurring.