Business / Corporate

Malpractice scandal deepens at IHI's jet-engine business

Kyodo

Jet-engine-maker IHI Corp., reprimanded last month by the government for improper maintenance work, has discovered more malpractice at two of its plants, people close to the matter said Saturday.

Uncertified staff inspected parts for engines supplied to Boeing Co. and Airbus S.A.S., though the Tokyo-based heavy-machinery maker does not expect the latest incidents to raise safety concerns or require immediate inspection of aircraft equipped with its engines, the sources said.

IHI has yet to confirm how long workers without necessary qualification were checking parts at the plants in Hiroshima and Fukushima prefectures, or how many parts were involved, they said.

The company is likely to disclose details after it finishes its own investigation, while the government is expected to take additional administrative action.

In late March, the industry ministry ordered IHI to rectify its jet-engine maintenance operation and stick to state-approved methods, after it reported 6,340 improper inspections affecting 209 engines in the two years through January.

In early March, the company initially reported 211 improper checks in engine maintenance work entrusted by airlines after the problem was uncovered in the government’s on-site inspections earlier in the year. The number of cases later jumped as IHI expanded the scope of its internal probe.