National

Mitsubishi Fuso tries to clean up its act

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp. said Monday it will sack a senior quality control manager responsible for making a false report last week on defects found in clutch housings.

“I sincerely apologize for the wrong report that our company made to the media on July 8, and the concerns in public trust in our company raised by this wrong report,” Mitsubishi Fuso President Wilfried Porth told a news conference.

During a news conference Thursday about a weekly vehicle-recall progress report, the automaker said cracks were found on the clutch housings in six of its large vehicles. But in two cases, the clutch housing was actually broken. On Monday, Porth said the false report by the employee, identified only as being in his 50s, dealt a heavy blow to Mitsubishi Fuso at a time when the company is trying to regain public trust after a series of scandals regarding the safety of its vehicles.

The decision to release false information was made solely by the quality control manager and happened without the knowledge of any other employee or management, he said. Porth blamed the corporate culture of concealment, which he said is rampant at Mitsubishi Motors Corp., from which Mitsubishi Fuso was spun off.

“What I can say is that he was still carrying the old” mind-set, Porth said. The corporate culture of such a huge company cannot be changed overnight, he added.

Mitsubishi Fuso had said the cracks in the clutch housings were found during the process of recalling trucks, but they were actually discovered when the trucks broke down on the road.

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