• Kyodo

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Air conditioners for trains from Mitsubishi Electric Corp. that may not have gone through proper inspection before shipment have been exported to about 15 countries including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany, company officials said Wednesday.

The Japanese electronics conglomerate has exported a total of 15,800 such air conditioners, although there are no problems with their safety or performance, the officials said.

The Tokyo-based company admitted last week that about 84,600 air conditioners with falsified inspection data were delivered to some 80 companies between 1985 and 2020, of which some 20% went to clients overseas, either directly or via different Japanese companies, they said.

The products in question were manufactured at a plant in Nagasaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan. Its domestic customers include major train operators East Japan Railway Co., West Japan Railway Co. and Central Japan Railway Co.

The company has said that in the past 15 years, about 1,500 air compressors used to control train doors and brakes were also shipped in the domestic market without proper checkups.

At the plant, the company failed to conduct inspections tailored by clients. For checking air compressors, the company used inspection data from older models.

The exported air conditioners have been used in subways in New York and London, and in trains in Germany, the officials said, while declining to name all of the recipient countries due to contracts with clients.

Mitsubishi Electric, which makes a wide range of consumer and industrial products, including factory equipment and auto parts, generates over 40% of its sales overseas.

The company plans to release in September the findings of an investigation into the inspection lapse and preventive steps. Mitsubishi Electric President Takeshi Sugiyama has said he will resign to take the blame for the conduct.

The latest revelation comes after a Mitsubishi Electric subsidiary revealed in 2018 it had shipped rubber products that did not satisfy promised quality standards. Last year, Mitsubishi Electric said automotive radio receivers shipped to the European Union did not meet local standards.

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