In what could be turned as one of the shocking incidents ever, Mitsubishi Electric`s CEO said that he will step down to take responsibility for “three decades of systematic deceit” during which the Japanese firm there was false inspection of data for air conditioners and brake compressors which were used in trains.

This shocking revelation by Mitsubishi, whose products range from air conditioners and vacuum cleaners to industrial printers and satellites, further degrades Japan`s reputation for high-quality manufacturing, already tarnished by other cases of companies falsifying or covering up test data.

“I am shocked by this,” Takeshi Sugiyama told a news conference, at which he apologised for the falsification and promised to appoint a successor as early as this month once he had helped coordinate the company’s response to the problem.

Sugiyama became the CEO in 2018 and  he has been with Mitsubishi for more than four decades. He regretted the decision of not informing shareholders at its annual meeting on June 29.

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Mitsubishi management knew about the air conditioner data problem already but didn’t divulge the details until June 30. 

The scandal of this calibre comes at a time when there is a huge concern over corporate governance in Japan after an investigation revealed that managers at Toshiba Corp, another well-established conglomerates, had colluded with the trade ministry to pressure foreign shareholders.

Japan’s economy and trade minister, Hiroshi Kajiyama, had earlier said that the government would act if it found that Mitsubishi had broken any laws or regulations.

Mitsubishi said the equipment supplied with falsified inspection data had no safety risk, and even if it breached contracts with customers, that does not mean it broke any laws. 

The company promised to further release a full report in September with the measures to deal with the problem.

In the 35 years that Mitsubishi falsified inspection data, it supplied 84,600 air conditioning units to 80 rail companies.

It said it shipped 1,500 compressors, used in train brakes and doors, including in Japan`s high-speed bullet trains, to 20 mostly domestic companies.