The battery problems that plagued the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid and the i-MiEV electric vehicle now have a price tag. GS Yuasa, which runs the Lithium Energy Japan joint venture – the battery maker responsible for the packs in question – with Mitsubishi, set aside three billion yen ($30 million US) for "extraordinary losses" last quarter. This is according to the Nikkei, which adds that GS Yuasa isn't giving up on lithium-ion batteries, and intends to spend 12 billion yen ($120 million US) on increasing li-ion battery production over the next three years.

In March, Mitsubishi stopped making the Outlander PHEV and i-MiEV because of two potentially dangerous incidents. A battery in a parked Outlander PHEV melted due to a short circuit caused by contaminants in the battery and then an i-MiEV caught fire at Mitsubishi's Mizushima factory. No one was injured in either case. After an investigation, Lithium Energy Japan changed the screening process to make the packs safer. In May, Mitsubishi announced that it would double Outlander PHEV production – to 4,000 a month – to make up for lost time. The i-MiEV is available now and the Outlander PHEV is supposed to arrive in the US next year.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 9 Comments
      TurboFroggy
      • 1 Year Ago
      Isn't this the same company who.made the batteries for the Boeing 787 as well?
        TurboFroggy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @TurboFroggy
        Yep it was: http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-20/boeing-787-deal-puts-battery-maker-gs-yuasa-in-spotlight.html
      Actionable Mango
      • 1 Year Ago
      Finally a plugin SUV in the USA. And with decent range and price, too.
      Pellon AutoCentre
      • 1 Year Ago
      Hi I wonder how long it will be before a motorist will be badly injured or killed by on of these Lithium-Ion batteries exploding? not long i suspect, it wont be me because i can't afford one. many thanks eric roberts www.batteriesontheweb.co.uk
        TurboFroggy
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pellon AutoCentre
        A gasoline powered car burns up every 96 seconds in the US according to the NFPA with thousands injured or killed every year. Zero battery electric cars have ever caught fire in the hands of a consumer.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pellon AutoCentre
        None so far with 100,000 on the road. How many people have been killed by fires in conventional cars per hundred thousand vehicles? I look forward to your analysis.
        CoolWaters
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Pellon AutoCentre
        You must be right wing. Because all the dumb questions come from there. When "lithium batteries explode" they're talking about exploding out of their case. Not Gasoline Car Fire Type of Fireball Explosions.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope everyone buying batteries from GS Yuasa runs like hell from them for a while, internal contamination is a quality control issue that is unacceptable, can literally kill people, and looks real, real bad on lithium batteries. Similar issues affect lithium cobalt ( most unstable battery possible ) RC Lipo packs.
        Actionable Mango
        • 1 Year Ago
        @2 wheeled menace
        Mitsubishi is really tied deep into GS Yuasa. They formed a joint company together to make the batteries.