Subject: [cwj 88] Japan police raid Mitsubishi Motors Corp
From: Corporate Watch in Japanese <>
Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 13:18:36 -0700
Seq: 88

Japan police raid Mitsubishi Motors Corp
Business Recorder

TOKYO (August 28) : Japanese police investigators raided the offices of
Mitsubishi Motors Corp on Sunday
on suspicion of concealing customer complaints and recalls from government
inspectors for decades, Kyodo
news agency reported.
The police search - a typical move in cases of suspected legal violations -
came after the car maker's
admission last week that week it had systematically covered up customer
complaints for 20 years.
Transport Minister Hajime Morita said on Friday that the ministry was
considering filing a complaint against
the company with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police and that a decision would be
made next month.
Last month, the ministry - acting on a tip-off - found unreported consumer
complaints in a company locker
room, leading the company to recall more than half a million vehicles.
Announcing the results of an internal probe last Tuesday, Mitsubishi said
it would widen the recall to
almost 620,000 vehicles. It has also offered to check 200,000 other vehicles.
The firm, in which German-US auto giant DaimlerChrysler has agreed to buy a
34 percent stake, estimates
the recall cost to be 7.5 billion yen ($70.13 million).
Kyodo said that police searched Mitsubishi's headquarters and four other
offices seeking evidence of
whether it had committed illegal acts by failing to report the bulk of the
complaints to the government.
Analysts have said they expect the long-term impact of the scandal to be
small, as a similar incident at
Subaru-brand maker Fuji Heavy Industries in 1998 resulted in a tiny fine
and had little effect on sales. They also
differentiate it from Bridgestone Corp's recall of 6.5 million tyres.
US safety regulators say tyres made by Bridgestone's US subsidiary
Firestone may be linked to 62 deaths.
Mitsubishi cars affected by the recall, in contrast, have been tied to one
accident in which two people
suffered whiplash when a Mitsubishi Montero sports utility with a brake
problem hit their car.
On Friday, Mitsubishi Motors denied a report that company president
Katsuhiko Kawasoe was likely to
resign over the affair.
The daily Yomiuri Shimbun said that Kawasoe was coming under increasing
pressure to quit as the
Transport Ministry was likely to ask police to press charges against the
Kawasoe told reporters last week that he would not quit and considered it
his task to rebuild the
Copyright 2000 Reuters (Published under arrangements with Reuters)

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