Mitsubishi Motor Corporation in a recent announcement, said that they would be recalling 14,700 electric vehicles starting this year. The problem arose after a brake problem that is only present in electricity power cars, which would be a safety issue to its users and owners. This recalls is the biggest in the recent history of electric cars in the market today.
The announcement further stated that nearly 3,400 i-MiEV electric vehicles are located in Japan, as well as 2,400 minicab- MiEV vehicles currently on the road. Nearly 8,900 of the i-MiEVs are situated in Europe, sold as either the PSA Peugeot Citroen iOn and C-Zero.
The scale of this recall though is small compared to the normal recalls for conventional internal combustion engines. Unfortunately, the recall covers half of the production of the i-MiEV and MINICAB-MiEV line.
Despite the boost given by the Obama administration the electric car revolution is still undergoing growing pains, with much of the problem still about range anxiety and upfront costs of owning an electric car.
According to Tatsuo Yoshida, Senior Analyst at the Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities in Tokyo, “This is a matter of one part and it’s too much to apply the issue to say there is something wrong with electric vehicles. The cause of the problem is identified and there were no accidents. But the problematic part is the brake, an important part for safety and that means Mitsubishi Motors’ quality check procedure is too weak.”
The problem for the recalled vehicles is the improper shaping or damage to the electric pump that sends the air to the brake booster. The brake booster multiplies the force applied from the foot pedal, making braking much easier. Should the pump malfunction, the braking of the vehicle would require a greater distance before reaching a halt. This measure was to prevent any accidents or injuries to occur, as there have been no reported injuries or deaths as well as no risk to fire.
The spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the overall costs of the recall. The process of the recall would be to remove the problematic pump and replace it with the right sized one. This whole process would take about half an hour at the most. This pump cannot be used in gasoline powered cars as it pushes air into the brake booster.
Other previous recalls made in the industry include Fisker Automotive’s recall to repair a faulty cooling fan unit back in August 2012. General Motors also had a recall in January 2012 for the battery pack of the Volt plug-in hybrids. This current recall though is after charges of inappropriate reporting done by Mitsubishi Motors involving minicars.