Japan: Mitsubishi Motors braced for product liability case
Date: 14 Nov 2003
Mitsubishi Motors is due to face what, in Japan remains a relatively rare event, a product liability lawsuit, when they face charges that faulty design led to the death of a woman when a tyre rolled off one of its trucks.
The company denies that the accident was caused by error in the truck's production or design, and instead blamed faulty maintencance check-ups that left crucial bolts untightened.
Police raided the company's headquarters last month during the investigation of the death.
Around 50 instances of similar events, where tyres have fallen off the truck model 'The Great', have been admitted. Unlike such instances in other countries, the company did not carry out any kind of organised product recall, but instead carried out free inspections and changed parts in potentially affected vehicles.
There is not yet a tradition of serious penalties being levied against companies in Japan for product faults. The suit, being brought by the victim's mother, therefore faces an uphill battle to make a significant impact.
The suit follows a period during which the company has been found to systematically hide defects to avoid recalls. The discovery of this fact three years ago led to the recall of over a million vehicles.
A ruling on the current case is expected next year.
You must be logged in to add comments
In a recent article, the BBC's economics editor Robert Peston highlighted the fact that in 2012 the chances are that the economy - punch drunk as it is from the various flavours of debt crisis it has been pummelled with over the course of the year - will be hit by the collapse of a major bank and / or government.
From the same country
Other stories about this company
Currently most popular stories