Tokyo - 12th September 2000 -
Mitsubishi Electric said today it will recall two defective color TV models that could overheat and catch fire, a problem the company has known about for at least eight years.
The company had not previously recalled the TVs, marketed only in Japan, because the defect is not that serious, executives said. It decided to do so now because of the recent defect cover-up by related Mitsubishi Motors.
Mitsubishi Electric, which is one of Japan's largest electronics makers, is recalling 50,000 sets of the CZ1 series produced between 1987 and 1988 and another 49,950 units of the 1988-90 CZ2 series, company spokesman Kenzo Shirai said. The company estimates about 45,000 of the two models combined are still in use.
Shirai said the company knew of 10 major cases of overheating in the models, including six that caused extensive burning in homes. The overheating is triggered by cracks on the baseboard caused by the faulty attachment of a cooling device.
The two models also caused about 60 other incidents that caused minor damage, such as melting of the parts, Shirai said.
The first case was reported in 1988 and the company learned about the problem in 1992, but Mitsubishi had not previously taken a step to recall the products "because of very tiny likelihood of accident,'' Shirai said.
The spokesman said today's announcement was made after worries that the company could be linked to the scandal at the Mitsubishi automaker.
Mitsubishi Motors has been devastated by the disclosure that the company systematically covered up auto defects for the past two decades. Company President Katsuhiko Kawasoe resigned last week.
Both Mitsubishi Electric and Mitsubishi Motors are members of the 28-member Mitsubishi corporate group.