Below is the text of a letter sent from Koito Industries president Takashi Kakegawa to airlines all over the world about the extent of Koito's wrong doings. It provides more specific detail about happened and what is being done. Meanwhile, airlines are experiencing not insignificant aircraft delays due to the mess.
A source with knowledge of the situation says that as many as 30 Boeing staffers have been working with Koito for months to help sort things out. The source says the Koito debacle is likely the most significant event to ever occur in the aircraft seating world.
To whom it may concern , 09th February ,2010 Koito Industries, Ltd.
Wrong doing on the aircraft seats manufactured by Koito
In January 2009, it was found that some of the parts which did not fulfill flammability
requirement were used to manufacture our seats for the domestic route aircraft, and later all necessary measures had been taken to rectify it. Since then, further wrong-doings had been detected in July, 2009 during further audit by JCAB.
In the course of strengthened checking on related documents to see if further wrong- doings exist or not, further wrong-doings had been found which is related to the Tests, and further recommendation to improve business practice had been given by JCAB on 8th February, 2010.
From now on, we are going to conduct the confirmation works, including for in-service seats, to assure our products are in compliance with necessary conformity criteria.
We would like to express our sincere apologies to the people who may be concerned for the trouble we have caused. We assure you that we are endeavoring our utmost to complete this correction works.
The facts which were found up to now are as follows;
(1) Related to drawings. *There were some cases not to be reported to JCAB on corrections of wrong descriptions or on alterations in drawings by design changes after granting the Specification Approval from JCAB. .
(2) Related to inspection records *When wrongly recorded inspection record from sub-contractors were found, Koito staff over-written correct descriptions without confirming details with sub- contractors. *Occasionally, only the sampling inspection had been conducted when all parts inspection are required, and produced the false document as if all parts inspection had been performed.
(3) Related to tests *When the test result of internal test conducted in the past were within conformity criteria and the test result of official test were not, filed internal test result as a result of official test.*Out of essential test items, some of the tests had not been conducted but used the passed test result from the past tests.
3. Confirmation works
Presently, under the guidance and instruction by JCAB and air-frame manufacturers, confirmation works are being conducted on whether similar wrong doings exist or not in other seats, impact on in-service seats, influence on the function of the products.
* Scrutiny on description content (Drawing, Inspection record, Test data)
* Confirmation test on product reliability (Dynamic, Static, Flammability test) Corrective action will be taken promptly when the necessity arise as a result of confirmation tests.
Two reasons are to be blamed as the causes which created present situation. These are that impending delivery date due to delayed production process caused by sudden increase in the business volume, and also lack of compliance understanding and consciousness. We continue further details investigations.
5. Way forward
As the confirmation work progressively continues, internal task team will be organized under the instruction by the third party professionals. By using the result from those works, preventative plan will be made and the report will be submitted to JCAB. In addition, the people responsible will be identified after appropriate investigation and strict punishment will be enforced on them. Also, under severe inspection by JCAB, we will deliver the products which fully comply with safety criteria.
Takashi Kakegawa President Koito Industries, Ltd.