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Mitsubishi Announces Another Recall

TOKYO April 12, 2005; Yuri Kageyama writing for the AP reported that Mitsubishi Motors Corp., a Japanese automaker whose sales have plunged on recurring recalls, has announced another recall affecting 179,000 cars for a defect in the air conditioning system that caused at least two injuries.

The recall reported to the government Tuesday is the latest in a spate of recalls for the money-losing Tokyo-based automaker. Mitsubishi Motors' reputation has been badly tarnished after acknowledging five years ago it had systematically hidden auto defects for decades.

The latest recall covers three sedan models, including the Galant, manufactured from 1996 to last year. The defect in a wiring for the air conditioning fan can cause a fire in the glove compartment, the automaker said Wednesday.

Some of the models were exported to Asia but none were exported to Europe or the United States, a company spokesman said. More than 36 problems related to the defect had been reported.

Mitsubishi Motors reported another recall for 95,000 Colt compacts manufactured from 2002 to 2004 for a defect in which the ignition key gets stuck. No accidents were reported related to that defect, but 98 problems were reported.

Of the recalled Colts, 46,000 also have a defect in a spring connecting the headlights, sometimes causing the lamps to go off. Nineteen problems were reported related to that defect although it did not cause accidents. The Colt was exported to Hong Kong and Australia.

Last month, Mitsubishi Motors issued what it said was a definitive investigation into the scandal, calling in outside lawyers. The investigation said the manufacturer had kept a two-tier record of driver complaints for decades.

Mitsubishi Motors has been trying to revive its business under a bailout from the Mitsubishi group of companies, which includes a bank, trading company and machinery maker.