Cosmetic Change?

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NORMAL, Illinois: Mitsubishi Motors removed two top officials from its U.S. auto division Tuesday because they have failed to implement anti-sexual harassment policies almost a year after two class-action suits were filed against the company. Mitsubishi sacked Tsuneo Ohinouye, U.S. manufacturing division chair, and Tohei Takeuchi, president of U.S. auto sales, for not ensuring that recommended changes took place at the company's Normal, Illinois plant. The factory is the target of two still-pending suits charging that hundreds of female assembly line workers were groped, fondled and subjected to other harassment. But TIME's Bill McWhirter notes the move is mostly cosmetic since it doesn't address the problem at the plant level. "All we've seen is a whole lot of lip service," McWhirter says. "By itself, simply changing the guard at the top is not coming down to dealing with some of the real fundamental things which need to be done on the shop floor. What they haven't done, despite executive shuffles, is make amends to the women in the lawsuits. They've continued to stonewall, and it's amazing when you consider that this is a company that's attempting to market most of its cars to women buyers."