Transport Minister Hajime Morita on Thursday urged the president of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Hiroshi Okuda, to try to ensure there are no further coverups of customer complaints in the auto industry, ministry officials said.
Morita held talks with Okuda, also president of Toyota Motor Corp., in the morning in a bid to pressure the industry to stop withholding information, as Mitsubishi Motors Corp. is accused of doing.
“The unjustified act of Mitsubishi Motors is very regrettable, and I am afraid customers tend to view with similar suspicion the automobile industry as a whole,” Morita was quoted by an official as telling Okuda.
Okuda said he is concerned that the MMC scandal could seriously hurt consumer confidence in the whole auto manufacturing industry, according to the officials.
He vowed to cooperate with the government to regain that trust. Morita in turn told Okuda that he will soon call on top executives of major automakers to raise awareness of product safety and recall procedures, urging the association to review the process for recalling defective products, the officials said.
Earlier this month, the Transport Ministry filed an accusation against MMC over its alleged concealment of about 1,700 user complaint documents when the ministry conducted regular inspections last year.
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