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Japanese Court Rules Against Mitsubishi in Truck Safety Case

July 15, 2008

TOKYO, Japan --- The Tokyo High Court today ruled that Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and three of its former executives were guilty of falsifying reports of defective parts in a case dating back to 2002. The Court's decision reversed an earlier ruling, Bloomberg reported.

The Court fined the company, former vice president Takashi Usami, former executive director Akio Hanawa and former operating officer Tadashi Koshikawa 200,000 yen ($1,900) each.

The former executives were on trial for hiding a defect on front-wheel hubs in Mitsubishi trucks after a fatal accident in Yokohama. The incident, which occurred in January 2002, killed a woman and injured her two children when a tire fell off a truck.

Four years ago, Mitsubishi admitted it had previously hid vehicle defects, and the company issued recalls of more than 2 million vehicles. The company also separated its truck and bus business to create Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp. Mitsubishi Fuso is now a unit of Germany-based Daimler AG.

In a company statement, Mitsubishi Motors said: "We accept the ruling solemnly and vow again to prevent the recall issue from recurring. We will continue to work together to establish compliance and recover public trust."

The company hasn't yet indicated whether it plans to appeal the latest court decision, Bloomberg reported.



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