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Mitsubishi recalls 22,626 Pajero Minis

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TOKYO, Feb 28 Reuters reported that Mitsubishi Motors Corp said on Thursday it was recalling 22,626 Pajero Mini small sports utility vehicles in Japan in another potential setback for the scandal-tainted company to rebuild its brand reputation.

Japan's fourth-largest automaker, 37 percent-owned by DaimlerChrysler AG , said it was conducting the recall due to problems in the SUV's brake tube which could impair the vehicle's ability to brake.

The recall is estimated to cost 310 million yen ($2.31 million). Mitsubishi said it did not know of any accidents resulting from the defect.

Thirty-one Pajero Minis were sold overseas, mainly in Singapore, and the automaker will be taking steps to rectify the problem there, a spokesman said.

It is normal for automakers to have some recalls each year but Mitsubishi's reputation has suffered badly since July 2000, when it admitted to hiding customer complaints for more than two decades and recalled 1.52 million cars worldwide.

In particular, analysts have worried that quality concerns have now surfaced in its medium to heavy duty truck division, a major source of profits.

In January, Mitsubishi offered free inspections on 124,000 large trucks after a wheel fell off a trailer on a road near Tokyo, killing a woman and injuring her two children.

It also recalled another 38,626 trucks due to problems with engine vacuum pumps and anti-lock braking systems.