US Consumer Prosecutes Toyota: Allegedly Concealing Use of Non-Standard Metal Parts in Vehicles

A few days ago, some media reported that American consumers have filed lawsuits against Kobe Steel and Toyota Motor Co., accusing them of violating consumer protection laws and concealing the use of substandard metal parts in vehicles.

This class action lawsuit was the first lawsuit filed by the US consumer for Kobe Steel. It is reported that Kobe Steel is the third largest steel manufacturer in Japan. Kobe Steel has a global presence and supplies steel parts to automobile, aircraft and train manufacturers. Just last year, Kobe Steel acknowledged that its certificate of conformity for products supplied to about 500 customers was forged, which caused the global supply chain to be in turmoil. Kobe Steel announced on the 6th that the Chairman and President of the Board, Kawasaki Boye, and Vice President Kim Min, who is in charge of the aluminum and copper business, will resign on April 1. The company's board of directors will meet to determine the new president.

The lawsuit was filed by two California residents in the federal court of San Francisco on Monday and they hope to represent the entire United States and buy the consumer group of Toyota Motor, which is said to be defective. According to the lawsuit, Toyota's Prius, Camry, Land Cruiser and Lexus are all made of "substandard" steel, aluminum and copper. The two plaintiffs claimed that both Toyota and Kobe Steel violated the federal and state consumer protection laws because Toyota claims that the vehicles meet US quality standards.

At present, Kobe Steel has not made any official response to the incident, and Toyota Motor declined to comment on the lawsuit.

In November last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States required 29 automakers including Toyota to disclose the safety of its vehicles or engines. The reason for this requirement was that these cars and engines used the steel provided by Kobe Steel. product. Regarding the data feedback received and whether there is evidence that Toyota Motor failed to use the material, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

On Monday, the 40-page lawsuit outlines the ways companies are suspected of concealing poor metal quality. This lawsuit requires compensation and punitive damages, but the exact amount is unknown. According to the indictment, at least six Toyota models containing substandard metals from Kobe Steel were sold or leased to US consumers. The plaintiff stated that this metal may affect the safety and performance of the car.

The lawsuit alleges that Toyota has a responsibility to disclose any defective auto parts because it has always been advertised as safe, practical and reliable. The lawsuit also stated that Kobe Steel and Toyota Motor are certainly very clear about the quality of steel, so the two companies should compensate for concealment. In addition, Kobe Steel is undergoing another separate investigation by the US Department of Justice.

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