Mitsubishi Electric Corp. is believed to have used since the 1980s a computer program that automatically fills in fabricated inspection data on air conditioning equipment for trains, sources familiar with the matter said Thursday.
A Mitsubishi Electric factory in Nagasaki Prefecture, introduced the program in an apparent effort to avoid the time-consuming process of having to conduct tests in a way specified by clients, the sources said.
The revelation added to allegations that the company was systemically involved in fraudulent inspections over a long period of time.
Mitsubishi Electric will draw up preventive measures after investigating the cause of the wrongdoings. It also plans to set up an investigative committee, which will include an external lawyer, to look into whether similar misconduct occurred elsewhere in the company.
Used in tests to assess the cooling performance and power consumption of the air conditioners, the program automatically alters figures to fit with clients’ specifications, even if the company conducted inspections that produced different results.
A source said that the figures were fabricated based on the results of an earlier test conducted as specified by clients. Mitsubishi Electric then issued inspection certificates to clients.
This means that Mitsubishi Electric conducted uniform tests under its own specifications and fabricated test data to make it seem like the inspections fulfilled client standards.
The fraudulent inspections were conducted between at least around 1985 and 2020, according to Mitsubishi Electric.
The scandal may have affected up to 84,600 air conditioners for trains. Of them, 68,800 units were shipped to railway operators in Japan and 15,800 were delivered overseas.
The Nagasaki factory has also been involved in fraudulent inspections that affected up to 1,000 air compressor units for brakes and other train parts. The fraud included using test results for old models.
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