TOKYO, April 24 (Kyodo) — Mitsubishi Motors Corp. said Wednesday it has indentified the cause of a battery malfunction of its Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle and will take recall procedures as soon as the effectiveness of preventive measures is confirmed.

The automaker said the defect was caused when the lithium-ion battery was mistakenly dropped during a screening inspection at GS Yuasa Corp., the battery supplier, resulting in short-circuited battery cells and a deformity that caused it to overheat.

Fearing that more batteries may have been dropped during the screening process, the company said it will "swiftly" report the recall as early as May for a total of 4,305 units of the Outlander PHEV. It plans to resume the shipment of the vehicle after evaluating proposed preventive measures, including the abolition of the manual screening inspection.

Also subject to the planned recall due to the battery defect are 115 units of electric vehicles including the i-MiEV.

Mitsubishi Motors said Tuesday that it will recall around 3,800 units of the Outlander PHEV due to a different defect in a motor control computer program, only three months after its launch.