Based on Toshiba Group Basic Policy on Product Safety and Standards of Conduct for Toshiba Group, we ensure product safety and product security, and positively disclose full information of safety to customers.
Toshiba Group was informed of one violation in a trial purchase test conducted by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). In addition, the Group confirmed another violation through voluntary inspection and swiftly reported the matter to METI. Corrective measures have been taken to rectify both matters under the guidance of METI. The Group will continue striving to comply with relevant laws and regulations.
We will boost our efforts to swiftly retrieve products after a recall has been announced in order to ensure the safety of our customers in the market.
We will also promote company-wide activities according to security of our products, systems and services.
In keeping with the Standards of Conduct for Toshiba Group on Product Safety and Product Security, Toshiba Group endeavors to comply with relevant laws and regulations, to ensure product safety and product security, and also to proactively disclose reliable safety information to our customers. Furthermore, we continually research safety-related standards and technical standards (UL Standards*1, CE Marking*2, etc.) required by the countries and regions where we distribute products, and display the safety compliance of our products in accordance with the relevant standards and specifications.
If an employee discovers information on accidents involving Toshiba products in the market, he/she promptly alerts the accident response staff in the relevant companies. Then the necessary measures are discussed and enacted by the CPL Committee*1 of relevant companies, chaired by a senior executive, or if necessary, the Corporate CPL Committee. In the event of a serious accident attributable to a product that is likely to recur, we inform customers of the danger and request that they cease using such products, promptly report to the competent authorities, and establish countermeasures as soon as possible.
Furthermore, we are developing an information system to enable swift communication with quality assurance divisions and top management regarding information on product accidents obtained by repair and service staff as well as on how such incidents are being handled by Toshiba.
In FY2018, Toshiba disclosed a total of 15 accidents in the list of serious product accidents on our website*2: 14 cases that were suspected to have been caused by products, one case in which the causes unknown.
Toshiba Group's Structure to Respond to Occurrence of Product Accidents
In 2011 we created the "Guidebook for Preventing Reoccurrence of Accidents (e-book)", which is a compilation of accident cases that have occurred in Toshiba Group. The information can be accessed by personnel in charge of quality and safety-related issues in the company via the intranet. A serious accident not only signals an alarm for the quality and safety of products, but also can provide precious insight into product development and assessment. We will promote the system of sharing information within the Group and strive to prevent reoccurrence of product accidents.
Guidebook for Preventing Reoccurrence of Accidents (Japanese)
The Chief Quality Executive plays a central role in ensuring thorough compliance with product safety-related laws, regulations and rules throughout the Group and also conducts periodic monitoring and audits. We provided e-learning to all related personnel in Japan (77,335 in FY2018 with execution rate of 99.9%) concerning the Electrical Appliances and Material Safety Law in Japan since the law has an important bearing on the Group’s products. By increasing understanding of the law we aim to prevent more accidents.
Toshiba Group is involved in standardization work of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) through activities at Japan Electrical Manufacturers' Association (JEMA), Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) and Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB). These activities allow Toshiba to keep abreast of the latest information and adhere to the standards specified by these organizations.
Toshiba Group convenes a meeting for persons in charge of the Electrical Appliances and Material Safety Law who gather from Toshiba Group companies to prevent occurrence and recurrence of serious accidents through breaches of the law. The meeting serves as the basis for sharing product information from respective companies. Information on serious accidents caused by procured items is also shared at meetings that aim to promote the quality of such items. The information is logged in a database as a means to enhance the quality of procured items. Product security liaison meetings are used to share examples of accidents and the latest information on product security obtained from such related organizations as Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center (JPCERT CC). We are working to prevent accidents caused by product vulnerabilities. For details on product security, please refer to Toshiba's Cyber Security Report.
Although products are equipped with various safety features, they may not be sufficient to ensure complete safety if products are in use for very long periods of time or the operating environment or conditions are extreme.
To ensure safe use of products, Toshiba Group describes correct handling of products in users' manuals and, if necessary, through alerts placed in newspapers and on the website, or by means of leaflets, educational materials, etc.
Further, in case of Toshiba brand products which businesses are transferred outside Toshiba Group such as home appliances and visual products, we also endeavor to promote information disclosure by sharing product accident information with the companies which businesses have been transferred.
Toshiba Elevator and Building Systems Corp. organize nationwide safety campaigns to provide instructions concerning the correct use of elevators and escalators, mainly to children in kindergartens and elementary schools. This event, held at kindergartens and community spaces in residential buildings, has been continuing for over the last 30 years, thanks to the cooperation of local communities, including the children and guardians who participated in such events.
Recently, owing to the growing concern in case of earthquake, we held a safety campaign, using a trailer caravan to demonstrate how to respond in a situation in an elevator during an earthquake or power failure. Since February 2017, a virtual reality (VR) space has been used for a VR caravan to give people hands-on experience of what to do if such a situation arises. The event-type safety campaign, using a trailer caravan, was held in four locations in fiscal 2018.
In order to prevent accidents attributable to the deterioration of home appliances over long-term use, in April 2008, the METI promoted consumer awareness on this issue by distributing nationwide cautionary circulars. To further raise awareness on this issue, Toshiba Group distributes cautionary flyers during repair visits, publicizes information on its website and has put in place a call center* to respond to inquiries from customers. In April 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Act was revised, and inspection and labeling system for long term use of products was enforced. While complying with the requirements under this system, Toshiba Group is providing necessary information to the customers who use its website as well as consultations through the call center*.
In the event of a serious defect or accident resulting from a Toshiba product or service, we promptly report the details to the competent authorities in accordance with prevailing laws and regulations. Also, in order to notify customers of such accidents as quickly as possible, depending upon the severity of damage or frequency of occurrence, we disclose product accident information directly to our customers via newspapers, websites, etc.
Through our corporate website, we disclose information on accidents involving our products as posted on the website of the Consumer Affairs Agency. We also proactively disclose information concerning serious accidents, even when it is unclear whether such accidents are attributable to Toshiba products or not.
Further, in case of Toshiba brand products which businesses are transferred outside Toshiba Group such as home appliances, we also endeavor to promote information disclosure by sharing product accident information with the companies which businesses have been transferred.
Also, we prepare flyers on products that are subject to recall and have particularly high risks of causing a fire, such as air conditioners, battery packs for laptops, vertical washer-dryers, and compact fluorescent lights. We are also developing various activities to recall our products more quickly, such as checking whether customers have any defective products when visiting them for repairs or inspections, distributing flyers together with power meter reading slips and checking whether there are any products subject to recall in care recipient’s home by care managers.
We are requesting all Toshiba Group employees, including not only their families but also their relatives, neighbors and friends, to provide product information and to cooperate in repairing defective products.
Composite flyer of recall company notice (Japanese) (PDF:2.71MB)