Mitsubishi, Nissan Announce Recalls

Tokyo (AP) — Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors Corp. will recall more than 25,000 minivans over an airbag defect, the transportation ministry announced Friday.

Mitsubishi Motors, Japan’s fourth-largest automaker, will be recalling 27,367 “I” minivans due to a defect in how passenger-side airbags were packed that could prevent them from inflating fully, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said in a statement.

The minivans affected by the recall were produced between Dec. 25, 2005, and July 22, 2006, all sold in Japan, ministry official Taketoshi Tanabe said.

Separately, Mitsubishi will also implement a service program to repair a gear shift defect in 11,610 “I” minivans free of charge, Tanabe said. The vehicles involved were produced from Jan 10 to April 4, this year, and all sold in Japan.

There was one case of property damage due to a defective gear shift, but no human damage was reported, Tanabe said.

In another service program, the Tokyo-based Mitsubishi will repair a sensor device defect in activating airbags in 16,954 Outlander sport utility vehicles and sold in Japan, as well as about 120 units sold abroad, Tanabe said. No accidents were reported.

The service program will also be implemented in exporting countries, according to respective country’s safety rules, Tanabe said.

The Outlanders were produced between Oct 9, 2005, and March 4, 2006.

Mitsubishi isn’t alone. Tokyo-based Nissan is also issuing a recall.

Nissan Motor Co. said it is recalling 2,166 buses because of a door defect and 96 trucks for a loose bolt problem.

The recall affects Civilian small-sized buses built between Sept. 6, 2004, and Aug. 28, 2006, and Atlas trucks built in March and April of this year, the Tokyo-based automaker said in a statement released late Thursday.

Also recalled are 112 Journey small buses sold by Isuzu, a model that is made by Nissan and identical to the Civilian but marketed and branded by Isuzu, according to the transportation ministry.

Fewer than 100 Civilians have been exported to 12 countries including 24 units to Trinidad and Tobago and 15 to Antigua, Nissan spokeswoman Mihoko Takeda said. The recall also affects faulty vehicles there.

There have been three cases of reported problems with the Civilian, but no injuries, Takeda said.

The buses have a problem with their doors that could cause them to open and shut automatically. The Atlas trucks have a loose bolt in the vehicle’s frame that could come undone from its nut. The manufacturer will replace the defective parts in both cases.

A small number of Atlas trucks have been also exported, mainly to Asian and African countries, but the company does not plan to recall those models because there have been no troubles with them, Takeda added.

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