There were 61 cases of fires involving vehicles built by Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and its affiliate Mitsubishi Fuso Truck & Bus Corp. during the five years to March 31, Japan's Transport Ministry reportedly said on Tuesday.

A ministry spokesman declined to comment to Reuters on how the figure compares with that of rival firms.

"It's hard to say if the figure is large or small. There are no comparative figures at rival car makers," he reportedly said. The ministry published the figures after questions on the subject had been raised in parliament, the news agency noted.

The report said the transport ministry report was compiled on the basis of information reported by users of Mitsubishi and Mitsubishi Fuso vehicles to the ministry.

Of the 61 cases, 37 occurred in the two years to March 2002, Reuters said. Mitsubishi Fuso, in which DaimlerChrysler owns 65%, reported a third fire involving its heavy duty trucks in two weeks on Monday.

Of 19 recalls made in connection with car fires in the 10 years to March 2004, three involved Mitsubishi group vehicles, the ministry also said, according to Reuters. Three others involved vehicles made by Mazda.