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Mitsubishi covered up defects
News.com.au / News Interactive
June 3, 2004
Tokyo

JAPAN'S Mitsubishi Motors hid 26 defects in its cars from regulators for years - in addition to four problems it publicised in 2000 - to avoid issuing recalls for the vehicles, the company said today.

The automaker said it would immediately start recalling the affected cars, estimated at over 160,000 and most of them sold in Japan.

The newly discovered problems are the latest to taint Mitsubishi since it acknowledged in 2000 that it systematically covered up auto defects for more than two decades.

In 2000, however, Mitsubishi Motors only made public and issued recalls for four defects - even though it discovered about 30, the company said today.

A special investigative team that the automaker set up last month as part of a new revival plan disclosed the additional problems, the company said.

"We conducted a thorough probe back to 1993, the earliest possible date we could study," said Yoichiro Okazaki, the president of Mitsubishi Motors, at a hastily called news conference.

"We apologise deeply for damaging public and consumer trust by failing to conduct recalls before and also for carrying them out now for problems rooted in the past."

The company said none of the defects had caused any accidents that resulted in death or property damage. Of the 163,707 newly recalled vehicles, 156,433 were sold in Japan and 7274 overseas, the company said. It did not give a breakdown by country outside Japan.

Among defective parts was an oil cooler hose used in 20,056 vehicles - including more than 3000 sold overseas - that could break when excessive weight is loaded into a car, or if acceleration occurs too quickly. The 1992 and '93 models of the Lancer, Mirage and Libero autos used this part.

The automaker couldn't immediately say which defects might cause accidents.

Mitsubishi warned the number of recalled cars could rise, and the figures it provided were only estimates.

The company's image has been seriously battered by the recalls and the cover up that came to light in 2000.

Burdened with more than 1 trillion yen ($12.75 billion) in debt, plunging car sales and the recalls, Mitsubishi reported a much steeper than expected loss of 215 billion yen ($2.69 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31.

Sales for May alone plunged 60 per cent from the year earlier.

Mitsubishi also suffered when US-German automaker DaimlerChrysler, after years of trying to help the company turn around, abruptly announced in April that it would not provide it with a fresh cash infusion.

Under a revival plan its chief executive described as its "last chance", Mitsubishi last month it said it would cut 22 per cent of its global work force, close an assembly plant in Japan and receive a $US4 billion ($5.67 billion) infusion from the Mitsubishi group and other investors.

A truck unit spun off from the company in 2003 - Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp. - has also been tainted by defect cover-up scandals.

Mitsubishi Fuso today said it would cut the pay of six executives and managers as punishment for their cover up of wheel and clutch defects to avoid recalls.

Twenty-three other employees of Mitsubishi Fuso were also penalised in the scandal. Four were told to stay away from work for five days and 19 others were reprimanded.

Full Story Here

 

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They learned that from toyota,over the years toyota has hidden defects and recalls ,it now seems that the sienna has brake problems,but have you heard anything about it NO....the press only gets HOT when it concerns the big 3....if you doubt it what happened to the oil sludging problem Toyota had....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Don't forget the massive Honda Odyssey, Pilot, etc. transmission recall that they knew about for 6 months or so prior to giving in (they sent out letters before that) and recalling it. I guess that kind of timing is standard in the industry, though.
 

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Another nail in the coffin.
 

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The Japanese are an interesting people; I think Yoichiro Okazaki's body language in the above picture says a lot. It makes me wonder if any Detroit executive adopted the same refreshing humility in the 80's and 90's (a not so glorious time for Detroit).

Okazaki inherited a lot of crap with his position. It just keeps getting worse. It makes me wonder if he'll ever be able to dig Mitsubishi out of this mess.

I have to admit I take a bit of a perverse delight in Mitsu's present troubles, though.
 

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I had a hunch that modern American built cars were of better quality than modern Japanese cars and that the Japanese companies were covering up their defects while GM has been pretty open about them in contrast. It was just a matter of time before the truth came to light. I'll take a rock-solid 3400 or 3800 based GM car mated to their bullet-proof 4 speed automatic over any Japanese import any day because I know those pushrod engines and detroit 4 speed transmissions have proven themselves and are darned near legendary. I see a turning point for GM in the very near future, as the lies and coverups of the Japanese automakers start to fall away...
 

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hmmm... not sure if this is a conspiracy or a slightly more isolated incident. i don't think mitsubishi ever represented the best the japanese had to offer. still, several examples of toyota and honda reluctance to own up to serious problems have been cited here, so it's true they're not the bulletproof chariots they're often touted as. i've never had a problem with GM engines and transmissions... i just hope the newest batch of GM products are screwed together well, and that all the bits and pieces are of decent quality. time will tell. i have much more faith in GM of late. they admit to having problems (all cars do), and seem on top of correcting them. i understand my car might have to be in the shop from time to time, but if i have to fight and argue to get it taken care of i'll move on. from my experience GM is on the right track for sure. bring on my G6!
 

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i always had a feeling that there had to be something behind the lack of recalls from japan. wait untill they start digging into toyota. the sludging engines, burning oil, blowing engines. nobody in my family has ever owned a foreign car without having transmission problems. my uncle had 5 transmissions in his mitzubishi befroe he sold it when the warentee expired.

Alan
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have a buddy who replaced/reworked the engine in his Mazda minivan 3 times in 8 years, never drove an american car, and still thinks Japanese cars are better.
 

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I grew up with GM cars during the 80's and 90's and to tell the truth... I never saw poor quality, they were always reliable and easy to maintain when they did break. Also people tend to forget GM and other domestics built North America. I never saw no Honda on a construction site haulin dirt etc, GM and other domestics were abused in their so called "poor quality" days. As for the recalls, Next time GM recalls another arm rest hinge I'm sure the media will be all over it, but here at GMI is the first I've heard of the crapsubishi scandal.
 

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I have had many good GM cars but wish I could site there engines and trannys as being bulletproof. I suppose some of it is due to quality control issues but some of it is just cost cutting. I have in the past year seen 3- 3400's crap out with blown intake manifold gaskets, 2 3100' with bad pistons, 5 3800's with bad upper intake gaskets and many 4T65E transmissions go bad just out of warrenty on Lesabres, Bonnevilles and Impalas. Now I can understand the odd tranny failure now and again but as I recommend these vehicles to people their seems to be a pattern in these failures. It kind of makes me wonder if anything is sacred anymore!
 

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So much for Japanese cars being perfect! Car and Driver take notice!
mitsubishi has NEVER been in the same boat as Toyo or Honda. they've always been the crappiest of the Japanese manufacturers.

as far as timing is concerned on recalls, of course American manufacturers don't wait 4 years (that's crazy, i will say), but they sure don't kick out a recall right away, either. i remember how long it took Chrysler to recall faulty rear minivan door latches, and seatbelt latches, and numerous other things. GM and Ford do it too, although a specific instance doesn't come to mind right away. don't think for one minute that an automaker is going to give up info, or have a recall if there's any way to cover it up. they're all in it for the money, and recalls cost lots of it.
 

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Makes me want to run out and buy one. Wait no I wont.
If they keep it up Mitsu will be gone before Isuzu. :pain:
 
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