Kobe Steel Ltd. Possible non-conforming material - Civil Aviation Safety Alerts (CASA) No. 2018-03


Canadian design, manufacturing and maintenance certificate holders

File Classification No. : Z 5000-35
RDIMS No. : 13598416
Document No. : CASA 2018-03
Issue No. : 01
Effective Date: 2018-03-23


This alert is intended to raise awareness that Kobe Steel Ltd. and its subsidiaries may have supplied non-conforming material to the Canadian civil aviation sector. There are corrective actions that the aviation industry may need to take in order to mitigate risk.


Kobe Steel Ltd., a Japanese metals producer with facilities in other countries, has disclosed that they have falsified the inspection data on some of the products they have shipped. In some cases, their products may not have conformed to their customers' requirements. In certain cases this misconduct has been ongoing for several years. Affected products with aeronautical applications include aluminum cast and forged parts.

The Japanese Authorities, including the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), are investigating the matter in order to establish the scope and extent of the problem regarding affected parts, the number of customers impacted, and the extent of any deviations from specifications. Several affected organisations have already been informed and have indicated they will evaluate the concern, following the normal procedures for ensuring continued airworthiness. In the meantime, this Civil Aviation Safety Alert has been published to raise general awareness of the problem within the Canadian civil aviation sector and provide initial recommendations.

Transport Canada National Aircraft Certification Continuing Airworthiness Division has already directly contacted some of the larger civil aviation manufacturers in Canada to request that they investigate whether they are affected and, if so, develop and implement corrective action plans to mitigate risk. We are asking every stakeholder in the civil aviation sector to consider taking similar actions.

Recommended Action:

All organisations that may have specified or used Kobe Steel products should do a thorough review of their supply chains in order to identify if, and when, Kobe Steel materials have been used in their products.

Emphasis should be placed on existing inventory and work-in-process, however it may be necessary to review records of previous production since the misconduct by Kobe Steel has been ongoing for several years.

Individuals or organizations involved in manufacturing, maintenance and repair of aeronautical products should inform their customers and regional Transport Canada office if they believe that they have delivered a product containing materials that are suspected to be nonconforming.

Kobe Steel is providing press releases on a regular basis to update the status of their investigation. Press releases are available from this web page: http://www.kobelco.co.jp/english/releases/.

Design approval holders should determine if affected material may have been used during production of your products, in particular any Primary Structure, Principal Structural Elements, Critical Parts and Systems. If it is suspected that Kobe Steel materials may have been used and the airworthiness of your products may be adversely affected, inform Transport Canada using the Service Difficulty Reporting (SDR) system and initiate appropriate corrective action.

Before any use on civil aeronautical products, it is recommended to positively ascertain the conformity of Kobe Steel products.

Contact Office:

For more information concerning this issue, contact a Transport Canada Centre; or contact Ross McGowan, Continuing Airworthiness in Ottawa, by telephone at 1-888-663-3639, facsimile 613-996-9178 or e-mail cawwebfeedback@tc.gc.ca.

Original signed by

Rémy Knoerr
Chief, Continuing Airworthiness
National Aircraft Certification

The Transport Canada Civil Aviation Safety Alert (CASA) is used to convey important safety information and contains recommended action items. The CASA strives to assist the aviation industry's efforts to provide a service with the highest possible degree of safety. The information contained herein is often critical and must be conveyed to the appropriate office in a timely manner. The CASA may be changed or amended should new information become available.