U.S. consumers have filed a lawsuit against Kobe Steel Ltd and Toyota Motor Corp. The lawsuit accuses the companies of violating consumer protection laws and engaging in fraud by concealing the use of sub-standard metal components in vehicles.

The proposed class action lawsuit represents the first U.S. consumer complaint filed against Kobe Steel over this issue. It has been dogging Japan’s third-largest steelmaker for nearly five decades.

Kobe supplies steel parts to manufacturers of cars, planes and trains around the world. The company admitted last year to supplying products with falsified specifications to about 500 customers, throwing global supply chains into turmoil.


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