Another image-damaging product safety scare has hit Mitsubishi Motors (MMC), just months after a massive global recall of 2.5 million cars, the Financial Times (FT) reported.

Three accidents, one fatal, involving MMC trucks have prompted MMC to offer free inspections of up to 300,000 vehicles in Japan. The inspections may be expanded globally, the FT said.

The newspaper quoted analysts estimating the cost of the inspections between ¥2 billion and ¥3 billion ($US15-22 million), about 10 percent of this year's forecast operating profits of ¥35 billion, although the real cost will come from the damage to its already weakened brand.

The FT said that the inspections fall short of being officially classified as a recall as they have not been ordered by a regulatory authority. But, the newspaper added, if the inspections unveil a mechanical fault, another recall would be inevitable.

The inspections were triggered after the front left hand side wheel assembly on one of its trucks came off and hit and killed a woman, the FT said. Two similar incidents involving sheared wheel units have also occurred without injury.