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Knowing they are bad Mitsubishi Electric unit still shipping bad parts

Staff Writer |
Mitsubishi Electric said that wholly owned subsidiary Tokan Corp. continued shipping industry-use rubber parts short of promised standards even after it recognized its inspection misconduct.

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In January, Tokan, based in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, recognized that it had shipped rubber products that failed to meet the standards promised to clients.

This led to a halt in shipments of some products. The unit, however, resumed the shipments afterward without gaining permission from clients.

The shipments of nonconforming products, also including items that did not go through required inspections, began in 2008 or even earlier, officials said.

Tokan shipped affected products to 25 companies, including Mitsubishi Electric.

“We’re deeply sorry for causing huge trouble to clients and other relevant people,” Tokan President Tatsuo Matsuoka told a press conference in Tokyo.

A senior Mitsubishi Electric official who also attended the press conference said the parent company takes the problem seriously.

Nonconforming rubber parts were used for handrails of escalators, insulation for electric circuits and parts of Shinkansen bullet trains operated by Central Japan Railway Co., or JR Tokai.

The items account for about 20 percent of about 1,200 products that Tokan makes.

Matsuoka said the misconduct was systematic with some manager-level officials involved.

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