Mitsubishi Oil Leak Recall to Cost $86M


Mitsubishi Motors Corp. widened a recall on Dec. 20 for an oil leak issue on vehicles sold in Japan to about 1.7 million vehicles, prompting a rebuke from the countrys transport ministry. The recall covers eight Mitsubishi models produced between 1996 through 2004, the company said, adding that it would cost the firm about 7.5 billion yen (U.S. $86.8 million).

It has been a rough decade for one of Japans most well-known automakers. Recent reports indicate that Mitsubishi passively neglected to address important failures in its mini-vehicles as a result of an engine oil leak.
A day after the recall, Yuichiro Hata, Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT), criticized the company for its lack of transparency over defects with its mini-vehicles. Hata referred to the incident as extremely regrettable and promised that MLIT will shortly carry out on-the-spot inspections to ensure that the company successfully implements measures to improve safety. On Christmas Day, MLIT released another statement noting that Mitsubishi failed to implement a previous recall due to cost considerations, despite knowledge of potential early failure of its mini-vehicles engines.
After MLITs reprimand, Mitsubishi released a statement from its Corporate Ethics Committee chair Noboru Matsuda, who acknowledged the error and vowed to take all possible measures as quickly as possible to remedy the situation.
When contacted, Mitsubishi declined comment for the story, referring Lube Report to the company press release.
A faulty engine part could trigger an oil leak and light the oil pressure gauge on the dashboard. In a worst case scenario the engine could seize, the company said, but added that no accidents had been linked to the glitch. Mitsubishi has not yet addressed the specific details about which part may be faulty and the extent of the potential safety issues.
Matsuda noted that consumer demand is getting tougher and tougher every day, and this incident will drive the company to build on its customer-safety first platform.
This is not the first time Mitsubishis reputation has been tarnished through safety recalls. According to MLIT reports, Mitsubishi first learned of potential oil leakage from its mini-vehicles in 2005, and has been forced to issue four separate recalls involving nearly 2 million units.

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