In response to the series of announcements by Kobe Steel Ltd. regarding improper conduct related to materials used in vehicle bodies, we have been urgently investigating the impact of this matter on Toyota and Lexus vehicles. The initial phase of our investigation has been focused on the aluminum plates that were the subject of Kobe Steel’s initial disclosure, on October 8, 2017, of the falsification of data related to inspection certificates.
Although our investigation is on-going, at this juncture, we believe that the identified aluminum plates purchased both directly from Kobe Steel and via other suppliers were used in certain vehicles, primarily in the construction of hoods (bonnets), rear hatches and other components of our vehicles.
Further, we have examined the data for the most recent three years possessed and provided by Kobe Steel and verified strength and durability of the affected aluminum plates, using the data Kobe provided that was furthest outside of Toyota’s specifications. Based on that analysis, we confirmed that the materials satisfy applicable statutory standards, and our own internal standard, for key safety and durability requirements for vehicles.
However, since the announcement by Kobe Steel covers a wide range of products, we do not regard this matter as closed, and we are continuing our efforts to identify its full impact. We are currently working to identify the impact of affected non-aluminum materials on our vehicles.
The safety and peace of mind of our customers are among our highest priorities, and we will continue to verify the safety of these materials based on our most stringent standards.
Again, we regret the concern caused to our customers by this matter, and we appreciate your understanding as we continue our investigations.