• Kyodo

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The Sendai Municipal Government found defects 13 years ago in Mitsubishi buses, the same make involved in a recent defect coverup scandal involving MMC’s now spun-off truck and bus division, officials said Saturday.

The defects, discovered during pre-shipment checks, were found in 20 buses it purchased in fiscal 1991, 1993 and 2002 after having them fixed, according to officials at the Sendai City Transportation Bureau.

The defects center on seats next to the emergency exit that could tip over when the vehicles come to a sudden stop. Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp., spun off from Mitsubishi Motors, has said some 52,000 midsize and large buses made between 1974 and 2004 have the seat defects, which resulted in injuries in seven incidents between 2001 and 2004.

Mitsubishi Fuso submitted a recall report to the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry last month. It is scheduled to install necessary parts to fix the problem from the middle of this month.

“We told the manufacturer of the danger the buses carry when we purchased them,” a Sendai official said.

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