Kobe Steel, one of Japan's oldest manufacturers, said it failed to comply with product specifications that it had promised customers. Though it initially said the issue was limited to certain aluminum and copper components that shipped from Sept. 1, 2016, to Aug. 31, a company executive later said the fabrication of data was systematic and dated back as long as a decade.


"There will be investor suits, suits by customers, maybe product defect suits, but we don't know yet,'' said Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond. The latter may depend on whether a connection is established between flawed metals and injuries or deaths, Tobias said.

Bigger cases will likely emerge as problems resulting from sales of any substandard metal come to light, the experts said.

"They are going to face deep liability, wherever the stock trades," Tuccillo said.

"I would venture to guess that the revelations are going to keep coming. It seems like a tip-of-the-iceberg-type thing."

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