Bullet train wheel parts made by Japan's Kobe Steel failed quality tests

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They included Toyota Motor Corp, Central Japan Railway, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mazda Motor Corp and Subaru Corp, the companies confirmed.

Shares in Kobe Steel fell by almost 40% in two days, wiping more than $1.5bn (£1.1bn) off its market value after the firm admitted fabricating data about the strength and durability of products it delivered to more than 200 companies.

The Japanese government urged steelmaker Kobe Steel on Wednesday to clarify the extent of manipulation of inspection data on steel, aluminium and other metals used in a wide range of products, reportedly including rockets, aircraft and cars, in the latest quality scandal to rock Japanese manufacturing.

Kobe Steel shares closed at the limit low after being untraded for the whole session, diving 22 percent to 1068 yen.

It also found one case of falsified data on iron powder products - material used for auto parts such as gears - that were shipped to a customer.

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Akihiro Tada, director of the ministry's Manufacturing Industries Bureau, urged the company to move quickly in resolving the problems, which are thought to have affected numerous country's largest manufacturers.

The latest discovery was of falsification of data on 140 tons of steel powder supplied to one customer in fiscal 2016, between April 2016 and March 2017.

The company said the fabrications, which might have started a decade ago, could affect products sent to as many as 200 companies. The government has urged Kobe Steel to clarify the extent of the misconduct.

The investigation concerns whether Kobe Steel and certain of its officers and/or directors have violated federal securities laws.

Honda spokesman Tamon Kusakabe told AFP: "As to safety, we are still studying (a possible) impact". It was not clear whether the scandal affected the safety of their products.

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Product quality scandals have posed a challenge to the image of top Japan's manufacturers in recent years.

Japan's "Shinkansen" bullet trains also used Kobe Steel's aluminum, as did high-speed trains in Britain, according to engineering firm Hitachi.

"Putting the utmost priority on the safety of our customers, we are rapidly working to identify which vehicle models might be subject to this situation and what components were used, as well as what effect there might be on individual vehicles", Toyota said in a statement.

They include cases of falsified data at Nissan Motor and Mitsubishi Motors, while air bag maker Takata filed for bankruptcy in June over faulty airbags which were blamed for several deaths and many injuries.

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