Source: Akebono announcement and NIKKEI Asia post

TOKYO – Akebono Brake Industry, a major Japanese supplier of brake components to the automotive industry including clients like Toyota Motor and Nissan Motor, has admitted to falsifying data, including component-quality assessments, on some 114,000 occasions.

Of these falsified quality inspections, at least 5,000 of the components in question failed to meet the standards of their customers, according to the report in NIKKEI Asia.

“An Akebono spokesperson said the company inspected these components again and “judged that there were no problems with their performance,” according to the news organization.

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The article further stated, “Akebono inspected about 190,000 pieces of data from regular inspections conducted under agreements with clients and found that about 60 percent included falsifications. It also found such misconduct had been committed since at least 2001.”

The company acknowledged what it labeled as “Inappropriate Conduct” which was found during audits of four types of brake components at Japanese plants:

  1. Automotive brake discs – Iwatsuki Manufacturing
  2. Automotive brake pads – Yamagata Manufacturing and Fukashima Manufacturing
  3. Automotive drum brakes – Iwatsuki Manufacturing and Sanyo Manufacturing
  4. Automotive linings – Fukashima Manufacturing and Yamagata Manufacturing

Akebono’s announcement also acknowledged that because of this Inappropriate Conduct its IATF Certification had temporarily been suspended. The company has until April 13, 2021 to implement corrective actions to regain IATF16949 and ISO9001 certifications.

The Akebono announcement outlined a multi-phase plan to correct these issues and combat any future occurrences of this type. These actions include involvement by the quality control sections of each plant, the company’s Quality Assurance Division and the company’s Internal Audit Office.

The plan also emphasizes training, increasing electronic data collection (and thus reducing human elements of this).

According to NIKKEI Asia Akebono President Yasuhiro Miyaji, “apologized for the misconduct and blamed it partly on infrequent personnel changes in inspections. The president said Akebono does not expect to issue a recall for the components in question.

“There are no problems with safety, and we have had automakers confirm this as well.,”