LOS ANGELES â€” Mitsubishi has halted sales of its redesigned 2006 Eclipse, a sport coupe the ailing Japanese automaker was counting on to jump-start the brand because of a problem with the vacuum brake booster, which could result in brake failure.
The company issued an "urgent notice" to dealers to stop sales and informed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the problem on Tuesday, according to Automotive News.
Mitsubishi said up to 1,185 vehicles could be affected. Of those, 44 have been sold to consumers and 400 are at dealerships. The rest are in transit. Mitsubishi said the problem was so serious it will send technicians to buyers' homes to check their vehicles. It said the problem at the plant in Normal, Illinois, should be fixed by the end of the week.
Mitsubishi began shipping the Eclipse to dealers last Thursday, 10 days ahead of schedule. Earlier this week, the company said it was increasing production at the Normal plant from 760 cars per week to 1,000 to meet high demand from U.S. dealers.
What this means to you: This is depressing news for fans of the sporty Eclipse, but Mitsubishi has caught it early and is correcting it swiftly. That should be some reassurance. But the company really needs a flawless launch from here on out.