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Courts to Decide Auto Dispute

Mitsubishi announced at the weekend that it will rely on the courts for a final resolution of its year-long dispute over "compensation" claimed by Lu Hui, a Chinese woman hit by a Pajero V31 sport utility vehicle last December due to the vehicle's faulty braking system.

The company's lawyer Hu Ronghui made the announcement last Friday night on the Internet.

Hu admitted during a telephone interview with China Daily Sunday that the announcement represented Mitsubishi's views on the issue.

According to Mitsubishi's announcement, the vehicle involved in the accident was manufactured by the company but had been refitted by a local factory producing agricultural vehicles without Mitsubishi's permission or supervision.

Mitsubishi said it would therefore take no legal responsibility for the accident and would end negotiations with Lu Hui while it sought a resolution through legal procedures.

Mitsubishi, however, stressed its willingness to offer "humanitarian help" to Lu, but only if the courts determine the cause and who is responsible for the accident.

Lu's legal representative, also her nephew, noted that the quality supervision bureau of Central China's Hunan Province had formally identified the vehicle involved in the accident as a Pajero V31 produced by Mitsubishi earlier this year.

Lu's husband Zhou Jianhong said that he was "extremely angry" at Mitsubishi's "irresponsible attitude" with regard to resolving the dispute.

Lu, who suffered paralysis after the accident, has had a worsening of her condition since late June due to a lack of money, the husband said.

Mitsubishi had repeatedly promised to resolve the dispute through "compensation," and he is now unable to pay for a lengthy legal battle as he has already been forced to sell most of his family's assets to pay for his wife's enormous medical expenses, he said.

(China Daily December 17, 2001)

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