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Japan's Fuji Heavy Industries Recalls 23,137 Subaru Brand Cars Over Fuel Leaks

TOKYO September 15, 2004; The AP reported that Japan's Fuji Heavy Industries said Wednesday it would recall a total of 23,137 Subaru brand cars to tighten a bolt on the oil control valve that could come loose and cause engine oil to leak and catch fire.

The company informed Japan's Transport Ministry of the recall after receiving complaints about five Subaru vehicles sold domestically that had caught on fire.

The models named in the recall were turbo-charged Impreza compacts and Forester sport-utility wagons made between June 2000 and February 2003, according to the company's report to the ministry.

It wasn't clear if either of the models had been sold overseas, or if the accidents had led to injuries.

Officials at Fuji Heavy, which is 20 percent-owned by General Motors Corp. of the United States, couldn't be reached for comment.

According to Kyodo News agency, ministry officials criticized Fuji Heavy for waiting too long after the first fire to act.