Background to the
Following the discovery of certain improper inspection practices at Nagasaki Works, on July 2, 2021, the company established an Investigative Committee, chaired by an external attorney, which was tasked with investigating the improper inspection practices concerning HVAC for railcars and other products for railcars manufactured at Nagasaki Works and discrepancies found in third-party certifications and registrations of electromagnetic switches manufactured at the Kani Plant of Nagoya Works.
Their investigation also focused on identifying any other improper incidents and determining the causes at a company-wide level, and formulating and recommending measures to prevent recurrence.
Investigative Committee recommendations
In interim investigation findings which were published on October 1, 2021, the Investigative Committee made the following recommendations to the company:
- 1. Ingrain a company-wide understanding and correct perception of quality (ensuring quality through adherence with protocols);
- 2. Check and review processes such as procedure manuals from a third party’s perspective;
- 3. Strengthen the quality control division by ensuring organizational independence from the manufacturing division and securing sufficient quality and quantity of human resources to enable greater authority when dealing with the manufacturing division;
- 4. Support and strengthen middle management, especially general managers and section chiefs on the manufacturing sites (ensuring appropriate workload, and conducting training/education based on roles and responsibilities);
- 5. Bring the head office/corporate function departments and the manufacturing sites closer (overhauling a system within business divisions at head office which supports the manufacturing sites, encouraging greater personnel exchange between the manufacturing sites and head office/corporate functions);
- 6. Encourage affiliation with the company rather than the existing strong affiliations at a plant/works level (Experience at other plants as part of career path, using middle management to reform local sites through the strengthening of links between the manufacturing sites and management);
- 7. Implement measures based on the business unit system (Separate management of performance review of investment in quality improvement, appropriate resource deployment based on holistic assessment of business performance);
- 8. Demonstrate management’s resolve in strengthening quality compliance (Continue strengthening the quality control division, including human resources, as well as continuing inspection activities which are backed by sufficient resources.)