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Thursday, 15 February, 2001, 15:51 GMT
Mitsubishi recalls 1.5 million cars
Mitsubishi Motors chief executive Takashi Sonobe
Takashi Sonobe has apologised to customers
Mistubishi Motors is to recall up to 1.5 million cars across the world.

Chief executive of the embattled car firm, Takashi Sonobe, announced the huge recall, which comes in addition to previous recalls of about 1 million cars.

Mitsubishi car showroom in Japan
The recall is another blow to Mitsubishi's reputation
The scandal-hit car maker, which last summer admitted it had been systematically hiding customer complaints for two decades, will spend $147m on the recall and the free repair of the cars.

"We ask the public to give us one more chance to gain their trust in our products," Mr Sonobe said.

The cars in question suffer from a range of problems, including corrosion of steering arm ball joints, lose parts on front suspension joints, and noisy turbine wings.

Several thousand of them are being recalled for the second time.

A US and Japanese problem

Turbo chargers and airbags have also been found to be faulty and oil has been leaking into radiators on some models.

"We apologise and will make utmost efforts to improve the quality of our products and systems of quality control," said Mr Sonobe, who is also president of the company.

His predecessor Katsuhiko Kawasoe resigned in September last year over the scandal.

The bulk of the cars in question, about 950,000, are in the US, with a further 412,711 cars in Japan, the company said.

With DaimlerChrysler's help, we will improve the quality checking function of our firm

Takashi Sonobe
Chief executive and president
Mitsubishi Motors
"Very few" cars in the rest of the world would be recalled for the same problems, the company said.

In the UK, more than 5,000 Galant models produced between 1993 and 1996 will be recalled due to corrosion problems.

The German controlled car giant DaimlerChrysler bought 34% of Mitsubishi during the autumn.

"With DaimlerChrysler's help, we will improve the quality checking function of our firm," Mr Sonobe said.

Mitsubishi aims to bring its quality control measures in line with those in DaimlerChrysler's car factories.

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See also:

08 Sep 00 | Business
Cover-up forces Mitsubishi boss out
06 Sep 00 | Business
Mitsubishi faces criminal charges
19 Jul 00 | Business
Mitsubishi recalls 514,000 vehicles
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