The Japanese company Koito Industries admitted Monday that it
has falsified safety data on as many as 150,000 airliner seats used
by 32 different carriers. But the Japanese Transport Ministry says
there is no reason for the planes to be grounded.
The international news service AFP reports that the manufacturer
left out part of a test process on new seats, and used data from
earlier tests. The Transport Ministry said the falsification could
have begun as early as the 1990's. The ministry ordered the
company, which is the largest airline seat maker in Japan, to
re-test its products to assure their safety.
"I deeply apologize," company president Takashi Kakegawa told a
news conference late Monday. "The whole section in charge was
systematically involved in it," he said. "We did wrongdoing on
concerns that we would delay our delivery if we failed in
The company is a subsidiary of Koito Manufacturing, which makes
parts for Toyota. The troubled Japanese automaker reportedly
has no stake in the company.
In all, the seats may be installed on as many as 1,000 aircraft
manufactured by Airbus and Boeing, including 300 airplanes
belonging to Japan's two largest carriers.