Japan maker of quake shock absorbers reports data fabrication; products installed in hundreds of buildings nationwide

Japanese shock absorber-maker KYB Corp. said Tuesday it fabricated quality data for seismic absorption and control devices installed in nearly 1,000 buildings across the quake-prone country.

KYB, which mainly manufactures shock absorbers used in cars and trains, operates in 24 countries, according to its website. It has the biggest share in the domestic market for oil dampers used in buildings to absorb or control quake shocks.

KYB said it is highly likely that data for two types of oil dampers were fabricated between January 2003 and last September, affecting apartment, hospital and government office buildings.

The Tokyo-based company said it will replace the affected devices.

The infrastructure ministry denied there was a risk that the affected buildings could collapse, even if they are hit by an earthquake at the top of Japan’s seismic intensity scale.

The ministry said it plans to order 88 makers of quake absorption devices in Japan to report by year-end whether similar misconduct occurred.

KYB, established in 1919, logged group sales of ¥392.39 billion ($3.5 billion) for the year ended March, with more than half booked abroad.

The revelation follows admissions of data fabrication by other major manufacturers including Nissan Motor Co. and Kobe Steel Ltd. that have raised questions about the quality of Japanese products.

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