Mitsubishi Motors said this week that its Pajero sport-utility vehicles do not have any design errors, though it admitted that cases of faulty brakes have occurred in China, Kyodo News reported.

Hideaki Anraku, general manager of Mitsubishi Motors’ Beijing office, told a press conference: ”We do not think it is a design error.”


Kyodo News said that the issue surfaced in China late last week, after the official news agency reported on defects found in imported Pajero V31 and V33 models.


Mitsubishi subsequently said that the affected SYVs have since been superseded by redesigned models and are no longer exported to China.


According to Kyodo News, Chinese consumer organisations have begun publicly asking for an apology and compensation from the Japanese automaker, according to local media reports.


Local media said the Chinese State Administration for Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine notified Mitsubishi Motors last September of two cases of faulty brakes and the automaker started repairing vehicles with problematical brakes free of charge.


However, Kyodo News said, Mitsubishi did not make the cases public, which seems to have angered Chinese consumers.


On February 8, Mitsubishi Motors received a letter from the state administration asking it to officially announce the brake defects, the Anraku news agency said.


The manager said Mitsubishi had been considering whether to publicise the defect cases, as they were the first such cases to occur with the Pajero, which is known as the Shogun in Europe and the Montero in the United States.


The state administration decided on Friday to cancel the import permit granted to Mitsubishi Motors for the Pajero V31 and V33 models.


Kyodo News quoted the Xinhua News Agency, as saying that accidents involving faulty brakes on the sports utility have been reported in China’s Ningxia and Yunnan provinces.


Inspection of the damaged vehicles showed damaged brake hydraulic fluid pipes apparently caused by contact between the brake fluid pipe, which is attached to the wheel, and the brake valve, which is attached to the car body, when the vehicle is in motion, Xinhua said.


Another report said that Mitsubishi will investigate the circumstances in which the vehicles with the faulty brake were used, as the defect cases were found mostly in the areas like Yunnan where the roads are punishing.


About 72,000 Pajero V31 and V33 vehicles are currently used in China and are eligible for recall, according to Mitsubishi, Kyodo News reported.