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Mitsubishi Motors says dropped cells likely caused battery overheat

(Reuters) – Mitsubishi Motors Corp (7211.T) said the overheating of lithium-ion batteries used in its Outlander SUV plug-in hybrid was likely to have been caused by cells that were damaged when dropped onto the ground during manufacturing.

The company stopped production and shipments of the model in late March after it found a lithium-ion battery had overheated in one of the vehicles.

Mitsubishi Motors said on Wednesday it will announce recalls of all 4,305 of the Outlander plug-in hybrids it has sold since the vehicle went on sale in January, as well as 115 electric vehicles including the i-MiEV, once it decides how to prevent the manufacturing error.

The plug-in hybrid is sold only in Japan.

Batteries in the Outlander plug-in hybrids are supplied by a joint venture called Lithium Energy Japan, owned by GS Yuasa Corp (6674.T), Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) and Mitsubishi Motors. Kyoto-based GS Yuasa is also the battery maker for Boeing Co’s (BA.N) 787 Dreamliner jets.
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