Mitsubishi to inspect truck tires in Japan

| Thursday, January 24, 2002

On the other side of the world, Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is inspecting its large trucks for free after 23 cases of tires falling off were reported in Japan. According to the Associated Press, one of the accidents resulted in the death of a pedestrian.

The free inspections announced Tuesday will affect more than 120,000 vehicles, company spokesman Tetsuro Miyano reportedly told AP. The automaker is checking on whether any were sold overseas.

According to the AP story, the reported problems with its truck tires are a severe blow to the image of Mitsubishi Motors, which has been trying to turn around its ailing business with partner DaimlerChrysler AG of Germany. Mitsubishi sales in Japan plummeted two summers ago following a recall scandal and only recently recovered. The AP story said Japanese consumer trust in the automaker was shaken because Mitsubishi acknowledged it had covered up reports of auto defects for decades to avoid recalls.

The story recounted that earlier this month, a tire fell off a large Mitsubishi truck in Yokohama and fatally crushed a 29-year-old housewife. The child with her was injured. The causes are currently under investigation.

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