Mitsubishi Electric Corp. said Tuesday it did not report 66 complaints from customers who claimed their Mitsubishi television sets had caught fire or emitted smoke due to overheating.
The complaints, made between 1988 and 1999, centered on 50,000 of the CZ1 series of TV sets manufactured in 1987 and 1988 and 49,950 of the CZ2 series produced between October 1988 and January 1990, the company said.
As a result, the company will now recall all those TV sets. Of these, about 45,000 units are estimated to be still in use, it said.
According to Mitsubishi Electric, there have been 34 reports of overheating in sets in the CZ1 series and 32 reports for the CZ2 series. Of these, seven cases were serious, with the fire from the TVs damaging nearby curtains or walls, it said.
In its 1991 investigation, the company concluded that the smoke or fire stemmed from the faulty attachment of cooling units to the base board, not systematic problems.
As a result, the company did not disclose the incidents or recall the products, Mitsubishi Electric said.
Now, however, the company realizes that decision was wrong, given the potential danger to customers, and has decided to recall the products, it said.
“We don’t think it had anything to do with any structural problem. But the decision at that time not to disclose the incidents was not right,” a senior company official said.
Mitsubishi Electric is a member of the Mitsubishi group. Another group firm, Mitsubishi Motors Corp., is being investigated for covering up complaints about defective automobiles.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.