Production of the plug-in hybrid Mitsubishi Outlander stopped last month and now the brand says it knows what caused the crossover’s batteries to overheat.
Mitsubishi says microscopic contaminants got into the battery cells during a screening process added to its supplier’s manufacturing process in December, 2012. At a point in the screening process, the part of the battery’s internal shape was altered and the battery cells were exposed to excessive force, which generated the contaminants.
None of the affected vehicles were sent outside Japan. Mitsubishi is currently the smallest automaker in North America. Its sales plummeted last year, but the brand is planning new products to regain market share. A recall for the affected products hasn’t been announced yet, but is expected soon. Mitsubishi says the screening process has been removed, and extended an apology to its customers and shareholders in a press release.
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