As electric-powered vehicles become more common, so do their recalls. The latest Mitsubishi recall involves 14,700 i-MiEV and MINICAB-MiEV electric cars worldwide for problems with the brake booster system. Only a handful of the cars were sold in the U.S.
Mitsubishi recall affects few if any in U.S.
The recall is a global one. Reuters says that 14,700 vehicles will be affected around the globe. In Japan, 3,400 i-MiEV cars and 2,400 Minicab-i-MiEVs are being recalled. Another approximately 8,900 i-MiEVs are targeted in Europe. Some of those in Europe are re-badged Peugeot iOns and Citroen C-Zeros, but the automaker did not give a specif number for each.
Approximately 27,200 i-MiEVs have been sold or exported by the automaker since it debuted four years ago. More than half of all the i-MiEV and MINICAB-MiEV electric cars ever produced are affected in the recall.
No specific number has been mentioned for owners in the U.S. However, that number will be small, if any. Less than 700 of the vehicles have been sold to American buyers.
Booster brake pump failing
The recall campaign has been launched to fix a problem with the brake booster system. Electric vehicles use an electric pump to apply additional braking force when the pedal is depressed by the driver. However, a faulty component in the system may have become warped, reducing that booster force and causing vehicles to take longer to stop than normal once the brake is applied.
Not systemic to electric cars
Tatsuo Yoshida, a senior analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities in Tokyo, said the problem is not one systemic to electric vehicles. He said, “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.”
Mitsubishi says there have been no crashes, injuries, deaths or fires as a result of the defect.
The owners of the vehicles will be notified soon. They will be asked to take their vehicle to a local dealership for a fix that will take about a half an hour, according to a Mitsubishi spokesman.
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Alternative energy vehicle recalls
There have been relatively few recalls of electric or hybrid vehicles. However, as they become more and more plentiful and commonplace, that number will no doubt increase.
A year ago, GM recalled 8,000 Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrids for a battery pack that posed fire risks in crash situations. Last August, Fisker recalled 2,400 of its Karma luxury electric sedans for a problematic cooling fan unit that also was linked to possible fires.
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