Singapore Airlines and All Nippon Airways have been forced to make some changes to aircraft entry into service schedules after it was found that a Japanese seat manufacturer admitted that its seats had failed safety tests.
According to a report in The Times, Yokohama based Koito Industries has admitted to falsifying test data for strength and fire resistance. The most serious of these was in dynamic load testing, which simulates a human body being slammed into the seat at high speeds, which showed that the seat failed to meet safety standards and so a test was rigged to persuade inspectors from Japan’s Ministry of Transport that they did.
While it does not believe that a product recall will be necessary, the Japanese government has ordered the company to halt shipments of the seats. As a result, Singapore Airlines has announced that it is delaying delivery of its 11th A380 which features Koito seats in business class, is now expected to be delivered by the end of April. ANA has also confirmed that it has delayed the launch of new Boeing 777-300ER services, which feature the Koito seat in premium economy, on the New York-Narita service to late April.
According to the report, up to 150,000 suspect seats are in service on over 1000 airliners operating in 24 countries. Japanese authorities are understood to be in talks with European and US aviation authorities on how to deal with those seats already in service.