It is reported that prosecutors will examine a police report that accuses three employees at Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) of negligence in an accident caused by a model included in a defect cover-up.

Reuters reports that police in Kumamoto Prefecture said on Tuesday they had sent papers to prosecutors, a preliminary step to filing charges concerning senior MMC officials. The MMC employees were in charge of quality control and sales at the time of an accident involving a Pajero sport utility vehicle.

In the June 2000 accident the Pajero’s brakes failed and it ran into another car, causing whiplash injuries on two people in the other vehicle. Police allege that the MMC employees knew the Pajero had a faulty brake system and did not recall the vehicle promptly enough.

Prosecutors now have to decide if there is enough evidence to warrant the filing of charges.

The auto industry and Japanese public was stunned when it emerged in the summer of 2000 that MMC had systematically hid auto defects to avoid recalls for more than 20 years.

Police, acting for the Japanese Transportation Ministry following a tip-off, found the evidence of defects and customer complaints in an employee locker room instead of filed away properly.