Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. has recalled 31,924 trucks as 14 trucks of the same model have caught fire while running in 11 prefectures nationwide since 2001, it reported to the transport ministry Thursday.
Eligible for the recall are Fuso Fighter trucks built between February 1999 and August 2005. If they keep running while short of cooling water or with a rise in the water temperature, resin components of the engine could become deformed and leaked oil could touch heated components and catch fire, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
The ministry has been looking into the matter with the National Traffic Safety and Environment Laboratory and Mitsubishi Fuso since 2007.
The truck maker reported to the ministry that it has decided to take safety measures although the link between the fires and any design flaws of the truck has yet to be established conclusively.
The company will fix the trucks by fitting their engines with sensors so that fuel will stop flowing as soon as the sensors detect overheating.