Responding to Product-Related Incidents

In the event that a product-related accident has occurred in the market, Panasonic immediately confirms the facts relating to the incident, and analyzes and verifies its causes. If a product-related incident is deemed to be serious, the group's head office and each of its companies and business sites work together to take appropriate measures to ensure the safety of its customers. Specifically, the company's first response is to notify relevant government bodies such as the Consumer Affairs Agency, as well as the company president and senior management, and then considers how to respond to the market.

Product Accident Response Flowchart

Product Accident Response Flowchart

Serious Product-Related Accident Information

In Japan, Panasonic publicly reports serious product accidents*1, accidents suspected of being caused by products*2, and accidents for which it has been determined that it is unclear whether a product was the cause*3, based on the Consumer Product Safety Act and Panasonic's basic policies, as laid out in its Autonomous Code of Conduct for Product Safety.

*1 "Serious product accidents" are the following accidents specified in the Consumer Product Safety Act:

  1. Accidents resulting in death;
  2. Accidents resulting in serious injury or illness (injury or illness requiring at least 30 days of treatment), or accidents resulting in permanent injury;
  3. Carbon monoxide poisoning;
  4. Fires (confirmed as such by firefighting authorities).

*2 "Accidents suspected of being caused by products" are defined as follows:

  • Accidents relating to gas devices or kerosene devices (including accidents in which it has yet to be determined whether the product was the cause);
  • Accidents relating to products other than gas or kerosene devices for which it is suspected that the product was the cause. Panasonic promptly releases information on these types of accidents.

*3 "Accidents for which it has been determined that it is unclear whether a product was the cause"
Panasonic publicly releases information on accidents for which the Product Safety Group of the Consumer Affairs Council of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has determined that it remains unclear whether a product was the cause.

Progress in Response to Incidents Related to FF-Type Kerosene Heaters

Regarding the FF-type kerosene heater incidents, Panasonic would like to sincerely thank everyone who provided their cooperation and support in our product recall.
In 2005, Panasonic undertook emergency measures as a result of product safety incidents involving FF-type kerosene heaters. Fourteen heating seasons have passed since we began the groupwide product recall, but we continue to work, led by the staff of the Corporate FF Customer Support & Management Division, to prevent the recurrence of any new incidents.
In fiscal 2019, we engaged in activities to find yet unlocated products, to promote the recall of products from customers who had their units inspected or repaired in the past, and to confirm the condition of products before the winter arrived.
As part of these efforts, we visited the homes—mainly in Hokkaido, Tohoku, and Nagano—of our customers who had once owned the recalled products, and we investigated the nearby supply/exhaust pipes and empty homes.
We also provided notifications, including our ongoing nationwide newspaper inserts and fliers at the start of the heating season, direct mail and warning notices in town magazines and free newspapers in cold-weather regions, and Internet ads.
In fiscal 2019, we added 165 units to our list of products discovered or confirmed to have been discarded. In total, 118,073 units have been recorded, bringing the percentage of total units identified to 77.6% as of March 31, 2019.
We are still finding products, some of which are units that customers have continued to use without realizing their potential harm. With the help and cooperation of those involved, we will continue our search until we find every last unit.

In addition to these market-facing efforts, we are undertaking various internal initiatives. We communicate the progress of these activities through the company intranet in monthly reports, and we pass down the lessons learned from customer safety incidents through lectures given in various training programs and educational materials posted at the Product Safety Learning Square (in Hirakata) and the Learning Center (in Nara), where we educate our employees. We strive to foster a Panasonic Group culture that places product safety first.

Ratio of Identified Units* to Total Units Sold (%)

FY2015:77.0%, FY2016:77.2%, FY2017:77.4%, FY2018:77.5%, FY2019:77.6%

* Identified units include recalled product units, units still in use after inspection and repair, and units confirmed to have been disposed of by customers.

Contact:

Panasonic Corporation, Corporate FF Customer Support & Management Division
(Formerly: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.)

Toll-free number:

0120-872-773 (dedicated line in Japan for FF-type kerosene heaters)

Hours:

9am-5pm (excluding weekends and holidays)
Messages can be left on an answering service outside these hours.

Toll-free fax number:

0120-870-779 (dedicated line in Japan for FF-type kerosene heaters)