• Kyodo

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The families of a couple who died in a car accident involving a four-wheel-drive vehicle made by DaimlerChrysler AG will file a damages suit against the automaker and others, saying a defect caused the tragedy, their lawyer said Thursday.

The plaintiffs will seek some 360 million yen in compensation, the lawyer said.

Mika Hanaoka, 27, and her husband, Hiroki, 28, died when their 4WD collided with a dump truck in the town of Tobu, Nagano Prefecture, on May 15, 2002. Their son was seriously injured.

The automaker’s Japan office recalled the same model in June that year, citing handling troubles. The plaintiffs believe the accident was caused by the same defect.

“We know the accident happened, but we decline to comment on it at this stage,” an official at the automaker’s Japan office said.

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