Mitsubishi Motors is to take several former executives to court following a long-running cover-up of defects.
Several fatal accidents have been linked to the defects
Among the seven targets of the 1.3bn yen ($12m; £6.5m) suit - several of whom also face criminal charges - are three ex-presidents of the company.
Faults with the company's trucks have been linked to fatal accidents.
The fall-out from the scandal has pushed the firm deep into the red and forced it to plead for rescue funds from its affiliates.
The company said the lawsuit was intended to make it clear to customers that it had changed its ways.
"To draw a clear line between right and wrong in terms of past recall problems... the company will sue for damages against seven former directors and executive officers, including former chairmen and presidents," it said in a statement.
The seven are being sued for an amount equivalent to their severance payments.
The three former presidents include Katsuhiko Kawasoe, who resigned in 2000 after the cover-up was revealed, triggering a massive recall.
Mitsubishi had for decades kept defects secret from regulators and customers.
Its behaviour only came to light after a cache of complaints was found hidden in a company locker room by government inspectors.
Among the problems that were being reported and ignored were failing brakes, fuel leaks and malfunctioning clutches.
The financial plight that resulted from this led major shareholder Daimler-Chrysler to wash its hands of Mitsubishi Motors, leaving the firm's rescue to affiliated Japanese firms.