• Kyodo

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A housewife filed a lawsuit Friday against Mitsubishi Motors Corp. over its coverup of a defect in the braking system of a car she drove, demanding 6.8 million yen in compensation for “mental pain” she suffered from a crash linked to the defect.

The 37-year-old Kumamoto woman, who was not named, filed the suit with the Kumamoto District Court. She is seeking damages for the shock she suffered due to the accident last June, in which she crashed into another car while driving a Pajero in the city after the brakes failed.

In the accident, two men in the other car suffered neck and other injuries that required two weeks to heal and the front of the Pajero was damaged, the suit said.

The woman has suffered insomnia and has been unable to drive due to the emotional shock since the accident, the lawsuit said.

MMC admitted that it learned about the brake defect before the accident, but failed to report it to the then Transport Ministry and reveal it to the public, lawyers said. The ministry has since been amalgamated into the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry.

Two months later, the Tokyo-based automaker apologized to the woman and her husband, who was also in the car at the time of the accident, and paid 200,000 yen. The two sides had been discussing compensation ever since.

The couple filed the suit because they are unhappy with MMC’s slow response over the issue, the lawyers said.

It was the second such suit filed by drivers of MMC vehicles since the defect coverup scandal broke last summer. In December, a university student from Shizuoka sued the automaker for 6 million yen in damages, claiming defects in the electrical system of his Pajero led to a rollover accident.

A spokesman for MMC in Tokyo said he cannot comment until the company examines the lawsuit.

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