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Mitsubishi Fuso in talks with Japan over possible defect in vehicle hubs

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Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. said Tuesday it is in talks with the Japanese government over a hub problem in some of its vehicles amid news reports that the company may have to issue another recall.

The Japanese truck manufacturer, a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler AG, is holding discussions with the Transport Ministry over a tire hub on a heavy duty truck that failed in October 2006, according to company spokesman Chris Brandt.

``The company has been sampling and inspecting similar models to determine the extent of the issue and whether action is advised,'' Brandt said. ``We are finalizing discussions with Japan's Transport Ministry... and will make announcements once discussions conclude.''

The former truck division of Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Mitsubishi Fuso issued massive recalls in 2004 because of defective hubs that caused wheels to come off trucks, as well as other faulty components including the clutch system, doors and engines.

The company's admission that it had failed to come clean since 2000 on the design flaw badly damaged faith in the Mitsubishi brand and sent car sales plunging.

The Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun reported Tuesday there were cases of cracks and damage in Mitsubishi Fuso's hubs discovered since October. Those hubs are in new models that replaced previous models upon their recall in 2004 after defects resulted in a fatal accident in 2002.

Mitsubishi Fuso plans to recall tens of thousands of large trucks because of the defects, the paper said in its unsourced story.

Kyodo News agency and public broadcaster NHK carried similar reports, both saying the recall could be announced as early as this week.

Although the company had previously told the Transport Ministry that use of the new hubs currently installed on about 150,000 vehicles wouldn't cause damage under ordinary conditions, it has now determined they are not strong enough for some large vehicles such as 25-ton trucks, the Yomiuri said.

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Mitsubishi Fuso in talks with Japan over possible defect in vehicle hubs
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