National

Fires erupt in two more Mitsubishi Fuso trucks

Kyodo

A truck made by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp. caught fire Thursday morning in Osaka and another one did the previous night in Shizuoka Prefecture, the latest in series of similar incidents involving the scandal-tainted company.

The driver of a car saw smoke coming out of a Mitsubishi Fuso Canter 2-ton truck in front as it stopped at a traffic signal in Osaka’s Taisho Ward at around 8:40 a.m. Thursday, according to police.

The 56-year-old driver of the 1997-model truck put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. No one was injured.

Mitsubishi Fuso said it recalled the model in March 2002 because the truck’s starter switch overheats. The truck in the incident was fixed in April 2002.

Smoke appeared from the engine under the passenger seat as heat insulating material melted, police said, adding they are further investigating the cause.

In Iwata, Shizuoka Prefecture, a fire started under the hood of a 1997-model 4-ton truck, police said.

The truck driver, Seiji Matsui, 53, of Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, was unhurt in the incident, which occurred at around 8:45 p.m. Wednesday on a highway, police said.

Matsui found smoke while driving, leading him to pull over to the side of the road to extinguish the fire. He had to call the fire department after failing to put out the fire by himself, police said.

Police are investigating the fire, which partially burned the truck’s bed and two refrigerators.

Mitsubishi Fuso is a truck unit of Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler AG.

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