Automakers recalled 3 million vehicles in 2001 and 2002

The transport ministry has announced that automakers recalled more than 3-million vehicles for the second consecutive year in fiscal year 2002 (April 2002-March 2003) to repair defects free of charge.

According to the data released by the government on August 17, in FY 2002, automakers filed 170 defects for domestic and imported vehicles, the second largest ever filed.

As to likely causes of defects in vehicles produced by Japanese makers in Japan, design error is the biggest factor accounting for 55 percent.

Japanese Communist Party House of Representatives member Seko Yukiko said that the released figures show serious threats to the public safety. She demanded that a third party organization be urgently established to scientifically examine accidents and defects in order to prevent accidents. "Otherwise, makers will continue to put the blame on operators for accidents, even if users take legal action," she said.

Akahata of August 18 pointed out that the increase in the number of vehicles to be recalled arises from the severe competition among automakers for cutting costs. Processes of examination and trial manufacture are skipped or shortened, with personnel reduced. Consumers are treated as substitutes for test drivers," Akahata said. (end)

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