Japan’s IHI Corp. admits to 211 improper inspections of airplane engines in two years

TOKYO, March 8 (Xinhua) — Japan’s heavy machinery maker IHI Corp. admitted on Friday that the company has conducted 211 cases of improper inspections of airplane engines over the past two years, local media reported.

The company, a supplier of Boeing Co. and Airbus S.A.S., released the result of its internal investigation on around 40,000 inspection records over the past two years, uncovering improper checks by uncertified workers as well.

The Japanese transport ministry conducted an on-site check early this year and discovered some malpractices, prompting the company to go over its manufacturing checks.

According to IHI, workers unqualified to carry out inspections were involved in visual inspections of engine parts for low-cost carriers at a factory in Tokyo that is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of around 150 airplane engines a year.

It was also found that unqualified workers were using the names of qualified inspectors to sign off on documents they compiled related to the improper inspections.

The corporation said that the misconduct began at the latest in January 2017 at the Tokyo factory due to a shortage of inspectors, among other factors.

IHI admitted to the existence of malpractices in its inspections on Tuesday and released a statement of apology.

“We deeply apologize for causing concern and worries to our stakeholders, including customers and clients,” IHI said, although affirming that the unqualified inspections have not led to any disruptions to flights as a result of potentially faulty engines.

Transport minister Keiichi Ishii told a press conference on the matter Tuesday that the ministry will “consider taking necessary administrative measures.”

IHI is the latest Japanese firm found to have been carrying out improper safety checks or fabricating quality control data.

Automakers Nissan Motors Co. and Subaru Corp. have admitted to inspections being carried out by unqualified staff. Kobe Steel Ltd. and Mitsubishi Materials Corp., meanwhile, have admitted to fabricating data related to their products.