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Taipei City Government and Kawasaki Heavy Industry, the Manufacturer of Taichung MRT Green Line, Convene Press Conference to Explain the Handling of the Failure of the Semi-Permanent Coupler of Electric Train Cars

Taipei City Government DORTS in the afternoon of December 21 together with a representative of leading Taichung Green line electric coupling manufacturer Kawasaki convened a press conference to address the November 21, 2020 gear shaft fracture of the semi-permanent coupler traction device incident and apologized to the public. They explained the causes of the failure as well as the preventive and improvement measures which will be taken. Taipei Deputy Mayor Cheng-sheng PONG hosted the press conference on behalf of Mayor Ko Wen-je and stated that DORTS will definitely take responsibility for the incident and promised to supervise and urge the manufacturers to make every effort to complete the improvements and ensure safety by February 9 of next year (2021); furthermore, they will subsequently continue to support Taichung City Government to carry out operations-related tasks. At the same time in Hyogo-ku (Japan), Kawasaki Heavy Industry Asian Regional General Manager of Rolling Stock Company K. Honkawa apologized to the public through a video link.
Taichung MRT electric train car manufacturer Kawasaki Heavy Industry understands the cause and has solved the problem, and in early December, Mr. Hideki Ukitaj, Taichung Project Director, was appointed by the head office to come to Taiwan to gain an understanding of the problem. After arriving in Taiwan he underwent a 14-day quarantine, during which he cooperated with the investigation by means of video communication. Following the expiration of his quarantine period on December 19, he attended the press conference on December 21. Through a video link, Mr. Hiroshi Murao, Rolling Stock Asia Project Manager, expressed his sincere apologies for the serious consequences of the semi-permanent couplers malfunction and discontinuation of trial operations. Furthermore, he deeply apologized that the impact of this incident has caused concern among Taichung City Government and Taichung citizens as well as for the trouble it has caused for Taipei City Government. The manufacturer will do their best to solve the problems responsibly, and related fatigue analysis and design verification will be carried out for the subsequent draft gear shaft upgrades. The fatigue test is expected to be completed on February 9 of next year, and it will be delivered to Taichung Beitun Depot where the assembly will be completed. As for the opening time, Taichung City Government will announce the opening time in cooperate with Taichung Mass Rapid Transit Corporation’s (TMRT) required operational testing.
Taipei City DORTS stated that the manufacturer issued an investigation report on the gear shaft fracture of the semi-permanent coupler traction device of the electric train cars along with recommendations for improvement methods and a time table. Because questions still remain to be clarified, for the sake of public trust in government, seven experts and scholars have been invited to set up an investigation report review committee to assist in the investigation. To date, two meetings have been held to definitively confirm that the proposed improvement plan will be effective and capable of completely solving the problem. DORTS has also explained the serious consequences of the overdue breach of contract to the manufacturer, and the manufacturer has promised to take responsibility and complete the improvements as soon as possible.