Mitsubishi Electrical used rigged air con take a look at program since Eighties

December 23, 2021   |   by Noah Franklin

It is believed that Mitsubishi Electric Corp. has been using a computer program to fill in automatically generated inspection data of air conditioning systems for trains since the 1980s, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.

A Mitsubishi Electric factory in Nagasaki Prefecture apparently introduced the program in an effort to avoid the time-consuming process of running tests in a customer-specified manner, the sources said.

The revelation added to allegations that the company had been systematically involved in fraudulent inspections over a long period of time.

Mitsubishi Electric will develop preventive measures after determining the cause of the misconduct. There are also plans to set up a committee of inquiry, to which an external lawyer should belong, to examine whether similar misconduct has occurred elsewhere in the company.

The program is used in tests to evaluate the cooling performance and power consumption of the air conditioning systems and automatically adjusts the numbers to the customer’s specifications, even if the company has conducted inspections with mixed results.

A source said the numbers were compiled based on the results of a previous test conducted as reported by customers. Mitsubishi Electric then issued inspection certificates to customers.

This means that Mitsubishi Electric carried out standardized tests according to its own specifications and created test data in order to give the impression that the inspections met customer standards.

The fraudulent inspections were conducted at least between 1985 and 2020, according to Mitsubishi Electric.

Up to 84,600 air conditioning systems for trains could have been affected by the scandal. Of these, 68,800 units were delivered to rail operators in Japan and 15,800 overseas.

The Nagasaki plant was also involved in fraudulent inspections involving up to 1,000 air compressor units for brakes and other train components. The fraud involved the use of test results on old models.

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KEYWORDS

Trains, Mitsubishi Electric

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