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Japanese firm ordered to fix airline seats

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Airline seat manufacturer accused of false test results, use of unapproved materials
  • Problem affects 150,000 seats; government has ordered seats be fixed
  • Koito Industries also ordered to establish quality-control measures
RELATED TOPICS
  • Air Travel

Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- The Japanese government has ordered repairs to seats aboard planes operating in several countries after accusing the manufacturer of falsifying safety test results.

Koito Industries Ltd. falsified fire- and shock-resistance test results in the design and manufacturing of its aircraft seats, the Japanese Transport Ministry said in a news release.

The company also failed to obtain the necessary approval from transportation authorities for the material it used in the back of seats, near the food tray drop-down, the ministry said.

The problem affects 150,000 seats.

The ministry has ordered Koito to fix the seats and establish quality-control measures.

The affected airlines operate in Japan, the United States, China and Singapore. The seats are mainly aboard Boeing and Airbus planes, The New York Times quoted Koito President Takashi Kakewaga as saying Monday in Tokyo.

Several airlines, including Continental Airlines, Singapore Airlines and All Nippon Airways, have postponed introducing aircraft recently because of delays in getting seats from Koito, the newspaper said.

Koito is Japan's largest supplier of aircraft seats, manufacturing them for 32 carriers worldwide. Koito also manufactures and sells electrical equipment and is involved in housing construction.

Toyota owns 20 percent of the shares of Koito Industries' parent company. The aircraft seat problem follows troubles with Toyota automobiles that have tarnished the company's image.

On Tuesday, Toyota's president apologized as he announced the global recall of more than 400,000 of the automaker's 2010 hybrid models, including the popular Prius, for problems in their anti-lock braking systems.

In addition, two problems involving gas pedals caused Toyota to recall 8.1 million vehicles worldwide since November.

CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki contributed to this report.