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. Twelve winters have passed since we began the groupwide product recall, but we continue to work to prevent the recurrence of any new incidents, led by the staff of the Corporate FF Customer Support & Management Division.
In fiscal 2017, we engaged in activities to find products that have not yet been located, to promote the recall of products from customers who had their units inspected or repaired in the past, and to check the condition of products before the winter arrived.
The search activities—conducted in Hokkaido, Northern Tohoku, and Nagano Prefecture—comprised: (1) resurveying customers who had sent in their units in the past, and (2) examining empty houses.
We also continue to run comprehensive public announcements, particularly at the beginning of winter, which include nationwide newspaper inserts and the utilization of Town Plus, a direct mailing service, to approximately 1.32 million households in cold-weather regions.
In fiscal 2017, we added 327 units to our list of products discovered or confirmed to have been discarded. In total, 117,755 units were recorded, bringing the percentage of total units identified to 77.4%, as of March 31, 2017.
We are still finding products, some of which have been used without repair and without the owners 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 our activities to conduct the recall in cooperation with consumers, we are undertaking various initiatives internally: we report on the progress of these activities through the company intranet in monthly reports; we use learning materials based on the incidents at the Product Safety Learning Square, where we educate our employees; and through talks at Product Safety Forums and various other training programs, we strive to pass down the lessons learned from the incidents and 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, units confirmed to have been disposed of by customers, and so forth.