The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry has decided to order users of large trucks made by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp. to replace cracked clutch housings, transport minister Kazuo Kitagawa said Friday.

The decision is aimed at legally forcing truck users who have yet to participate in the scandal-tainted automaker’s recall program to do so as soon as possible, he told a news conference.

Those who refuse to obey the order will be forced to stop using their trucks and fined up to 500,000 yen.

In May, Mitsubishi Fuso recalled about 72,000 trucks for repairs to cracked clutch housings, one of which caused a fatal accident in Yamaguchi Prefecture. Of the recalled trucks, 95.7 percent had the defective parts replaced as of Oct. 9.

Mitsubishi Fuso, spun off from Mitsubishi Motors Corp. in January 2003, has been bludgeoned by a series of vehicle defect coverups, including those involving defective clutch housings and wheel hubs.

Meanwhile, in Hiroshima on Thursday, one man died and another was injured when an unmanned Mitsubishi truck suddenly rolled backward on a sloping bridge where it had been parked.

Mitsubishi Fuso began recalling some types of trucks in connection with brake defects earlier this month, but the truck involved in Thursday’s accident is not subject to the recall as it was apparently manufactured before 1992, local police said.

Fumio Okada, 47, died after being run over by a Fuso Fighter truck around 1:55 p.m. while he was engaged in welding work to fix damage caused by a typhoon on a floating pier at a fishing port in Hiroshima.

Another worker, 37, was injured in the accident.

The truck is believed to have been parked by one of the victims on a bridge linking the quay and the pier.

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