Mon, Nov 12, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Dubious quake-absorbing products used in 33 cases

QUALITY ISSUE:There are 10 cases in which information provided by the two Japanese manufacturers involved could not be verified, because the engineers had died

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The nation’s six special municipalities have confirmed 33 cases where buildings used earthquake shock-absorbing products from two Japanese manufacturers that have admitted to fabricating quality data, a Construction and Planning Agency survey released on Friday last week showed.

Tokyo-based KYB Corp and Kawaguchi-based Kawakin Holdings Co last month said that they had fabricated data regarding the quality of their earthquake shock absorbers and other quake-control devices for more than a decade.

Both companies have exported their products to Taiwan, their only overseas buyer.

The agency launched a preliminary survey last month soon after the announcements, and did not find any government office buildings or public infrastructure where their products had been used.

The companies were also asked to provide information on their business dealings in Taiwan’s private sector.

The Construction and Planning Agency then requested local government organizations to examine the information, including agencies in charge of construction in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Keelung, and Hsinchu, Changhua, Yunlin, Chiayi, Hualien, Penghu, Kinmen and Lienchiang counties.

National park administrations in Yushan, Hsuehshan, Yangmingshan, Taijiang, as well as the Marine National Park Headquarters, the Export Processing Zone Administration and Pingtung Agricultural Biotechnology Park, were also asked to verify the information provided by the companies, the agency said.

The agency said that there are 30 cases in which KYB products were used and three cases in which Kawakin products were used.

Specifically, there is one case in Taoyuan, two in Kaohsiung, five in New Taipei City, nine in Tainan, 11 in Taipei and five in Taichung, the survey showed.

There are 10 cases in which the information provided by the two companies could not be verified, because the engineers who designed the buildings had passed away, the agency said, adding that it is seeking assistance from civil engineering associations to ascertain the safety of the buildings.

The other buildings have been assessed by civil engineers and do not pose a safety concern, the agency said.

Kawakin has promised that its agent in Taiwan, Well Link Industry Co (劦承精密), would handle all product-related queries, the agency said, adding that KYB also said that it would have a similar mechanism in place to handle disputes.

The agency said that it would continue asking the two Japanese companies to make public the results of their safety assessments of buildings in which their products were used.

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