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