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Auto blogWed, 26 Dec 2012 10:02:00 EST
We have a date with Mitsubishi Mirage (again). The Japanese subcompact is slated to arrive on our shores in September 2013, and it's one of the product offerings meant to help Mitsubishi's US arm raise sales in its next financial year from 55,000 to 80,000. If next year were 1989, we'd say there's no reason that couldn't happen, but from what we've seen, the Mirage is so magnificently meek (have you seen the interior?) that we aren't sure how it will manage that kind of US sales aggression in the 21st century.
Continuing that theme, Car and Driver reports that the Mitsu will launch here with a 1.2-liter, three-cylinder engine. Make no mistake, this is a very popular engine in the Mirage and responsible for its excellent fuel economy. The hatch is doing so well in other markets with its two naturally aspirated tri-cylinders that the Thailand facility that builds the Mirage will have its capacity increased by 33 percent to try and meet demand. In European spec, the 845-kilogram (1,859 pounds) subcompact with the more powerful engine offering 79 horsepower and 78 pound-feet of torque gets 57.3 miles per US gallon and takes 11.7 seconds to get from zero to 62 miles per hour. The question is whether Mitsubishi will boost the output of that engine for our market. If not, only the 70-hp Smart ForTwo will have less horsepower - but the Mirage, interestingly enough, weighs about the same as the microcar.
On its UK site, Mitsubishi said the reveal of the Mirage in back 2011 meant "redefining the standards by which to judge a compact passenger car." We can't wait to find out if that's still true and what that means when it gets here. To prepare yourself, there's video of the Mirage in action below.
Mitsubishi is recalling certain 2013 Outlander Sport models for a couple of brake-related reasons. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the brake lamps may illuminate continuously or intermittently. On top of that, the NHTSA report states that the vehicle's shift lever could be moved out of the Park position without depressing the brake pedal.
A total of 4,539 Outlander Sport models are being recalled for these issues. All of the affected vehicles were built between June 11 and September 11, 2012.
Obviously, both of these issues can be hazardous. If the brake lamps do not illuminate properly, other vehicles may not realize that the car is stopping. And if the shift lever can be moved from Park without touching the brake pedal, the vehicle could roll away unexpectedly.
Mitsubishi is issuing a recall for the 2010-2014 i-MiEV that affects 1,810 units of the little electric car, because it's possible for the brake vacuum pump to stop working. If this happens, the result would be longer stopping distances, according to the company. The affected models were built between September 15, 2009, and March 25, 2014.
While this is just a single recall, there are actually two things that can cause this brake problem on the i-MiEV, according to Mitsubishi's filing with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. First, bad programming in the EV-ECU could cause the system to "falsely judge that the relay contact point is stuck," according to the full NHTSA defect notice PDF. Second, the vacuum pump exhaust hole could be corroded and blocked due to being splashed with road salt. However, the company says that if either fault happens, the brake warning lamp would illuminate, and there would be an audible alarm.
Depending on which issue is affecting an owner's i-MiEV, Mitsubishi is going to reprogram the software, replace the pump or both. Scroll down to read the recall report from NHTSA.