Japan plane seat maker admits to falsifying data

Koito omitted part of a testing process for seat strength. (AP)

Japan's Koito Industries has admitted to fabricating safety data for seats in more than 1,000 aircraft used by 32 carriers, striking another blow to corporate Japan's image of reliability.

The Yokohama-based company used fake strength test data for more than 150,000 seats used in the Boeing and Airbus aircraft of customers including Air Canada, KLM, Scandinavian Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

Among the affected aircraft were some 300 jets of domestic carriers Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways (ANA).

"I deeply apologise," company President Takashi Kakegawa told a news conference. "The whole section in charge was systematically involved in it," he said, explaining that the company had been worried "that we would delay our delivery if we failed in tests".

Japan's transport ministry has instructed the company, Japan's largest maker of aircraft seats, to improve its business operations, but stressed that there was no problem with the planes continuing to fly.

The manufacturer omitted part of a testing process for seat strength and fire resistance and used figures from past tests, the ministry said, adding that the data falsification could have been going on since the mid-1990s.

Koito was ordered by the ministry to retest the products to confirm their safety and would fix them if necessary, the company said.

 

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