Fire Scandal

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Mitsubishi Fuso Trucks and Buses Catching Fire

July 8, 2004. Shizuoka, Japan.A Mitsubishi Fuso truck caught fire in Iwata, Shizuoka Prefecture, partially burning its bed and two refrigerator. The incident happened near Iwai tollgate on the National Highway No. 1.(Kyodo News)

July 6, 2004. A Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp 1995 Rosa bus burst into flames after its driver pulled over on Kanetsu Expressway in Fujioka, Gumma prefecture, after noticing white smoke coming out from below his seat and brakes not responding. All 16 passengers got out quickly and are reportedly unhurt. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Its 2002 model was subject to a 2002 recall by Mitsubishi Motors for a defective engine starting switch. The bus was completely destroyed.

June 30, 2004. Kumamoto, Japan. A Pajero SUV caught fire along a mountain road in Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture. It completely destroyed the vehicle. (Kyodo News)

June 29, 2004. Source Asahi Shimbun. Two Mitsubishi vehicles caught fire on Sunday. A fire started in the engine of a Chariot Grandis minivan while the vehicle was being driven in the Saitama city . Another fire started in Nara prefecturee near the engine of a Delica minivan a at a parking lot in Haibara.

As a result, the ministry will spot check Mitsubishi large vehicles starting nect month. While annual checks are performed for all the vehicles, such spot checks just for one manufacturer is rare. In addition, the ministry is ordering thorough checks of Mitsubishi trucks and buses brought in for shaken inspections at automotive centers.

From July, the checks will target Mitsubishi trucks and buses on major roads. It will covers 44 defects, including wheel hub or clutch system defects, now under Mitsubishi Fuso recalls. In case of serious defects, repairs have to be made under the japanese road transport law otherwise they will be ordered off-road.

June 24, 2004. Tokyo. Asahi Shimbun reported that seven MMC vehicles caught fires in a four-week period - May 19 to June 22 of this year - forcing Mitsubishi Fuso to step up its recall plans. Range of defects and geographical locations in japan is wide.

Flames and smoke started billowing from the engine of a 2-ton truck in Toyama Prefecture. Cause unknown. Engine of a light truck caught fire in Abashiri, Hokkaido. Cause is a loose cap on the fuel tank mounted at the rear of the loading platform. Already recalled. In Nagano and Saga prefectures, fire broke out near tires on the left side of two vehicles. The incident in Iida, Nagano Prefecture, involved a large truck. Cause was defective hub bearings. Mitsubishi Fuso said 13 fires broke out because of defective hub parts between 1994 and 2003.

June 23, 2004. Japan's transport ministry stated that it knows of 61 cases of Mitsubishi Motors and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp vehicles catching fire in the country during the past 5 years.

June 21, 2004. Daily Yomiuri reported that a MMC 1992 Canter truck belonging to a construction company had smoke and fire coming out of its back while being driven. Engine and clutch were slightly burnt. It happened earlier this month in Nishi Ward, Kobe and the Hyogo prefecture police investigated this without any conclusion. 4 more fire incidents concerning Mitsubishi vehicles have been reported this month. On last Monday, a truck in Kanzakimachi, Saga Prefecture caught fire while traveling on the Nagasaki Expressway. This 1996 model truck was recalled in March.

June 18, 2004. According to Yomiuri Shimbun, a Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp trck, made in 1990, caught fire in Iyo, Ehime Prefecture. Noboru Yokohama, the driver for the trucking firm Miyamoto Kaisoten, based in Uwajima, saw flames coming from under the truck's body behind the front right wheel, in early morning. "There was a smell like burning rubber coming from under the passenger seat. Then I heard a shuddering noise followed by a loud bang," Yokohama reportedly told the police. This truck was recalled earlier this year for hub problems.

Another Mitsubishi Fuso truck caught fire in a parking area on an expressway in Iida, Nagano Prefecture, on Tuesday night.