Mitsubishi Fuso Recalls 56,000 Heavy Trucks

Company says trucks have faulty wheel hubs that can crack.

Tokyo (AP) - Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. said Thursday that it will recall 56,000 heavy trucks, including thousands of its Super Great models, because of a problem that can cause cracks in the vehicles’ wheel hubs.

The Japanese company, a subsidiary of Germany’s DaimlerChrysler AG, had been in talks with the Japanese government about how to address the problem, which was discovered in a heavy duty truck that failed in October last year.

On Thursday, the company filed a recall notice with the Transport Ministry.

Company spokesman Chris Brandt said Mitsubishi Fuso was still evaluating the overseas impact of the recall and how many affected vehicles might have been exported. The 56,000 figure applies only to Japan, he said.

The recall was the latest embarrassment for the former truck division of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. Mitsubishi Fuso has been embroiled in a recall scandal since 2000, when the company - at that time, still a part of Mitsubishi Motors - acknowledged it had been systematically hiding auto defects for more than 20 years to avoid recalls.

The company’s admission damaged the nation’s faith in the Mitsubishi brand and sent car sales plunging.

In the current case, wheel hubs on several truck models do not meet quality guidelines and are not strong enough to support heavier vehicles, such as Mitsubishi Fuso’s 25-ton Super Great line up, and may be prone to cracking.

The company said it would recall 56,000 vehicles affected by the problem, but said it was unclear when it would have enough replacement parts to fix the problem. In the meantime, it will focus on fixing wheel hubs that are already cracked, it said.

There have been no injuries linked to the problem, Brandt said, adding that the company couldn’t disclose how much it would cost the company to fix the problems. Mitsubishi Fuso is taking steps to improve its quality control across the board, he said.

DaimlerChrysler holds an 85 percent stake in Mitsubishi Fuso, while Mitsubishi group companies hold the remaining 15 percent.