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Mitsubishi admits cheating fuel economy test data

Wed 20 Apr 2016


Japanese car-maker Mitsubishi Motors has admitted this morning to falsifying emissions test data for some of its own brand and Nissan models, as the latest auto victim following last year’s Volkswagen scandal.

Japan’s sixth-biggest car company was forced to speak up today and confirmed that there was evidence that its employees had altered emissions data for a number of models. This, it suggests, could total to 157,000 of its own brand light passenger vehicles and 468,000 cars produced for Nissan.

Among other details given at today’s press conference in Tokyo, it was revealed that the majority of these affected vehicles had been sold in the domestic Japanese market.

Mitsubishi president Tetsuro Aikawa said that the company had been alerted to the potential issue after Nissan had reported inconsistent fuel economy data. He added that an internal investigation had uncovered evidence of cheating, and the misconduct had been immediately reported to the Japanese transportation ministry.

Following these initial reports, share prices [paywall] in Mitsubishi closed down 131 yen at 733 yen – its biggest one-day fall in 12 years. This marked a 15%, or $1.2 billion (approx. £836 million) drop in market value.

The company has said that it has stopped production and sales of the vehicles and is continuing a corporate probe into the matter.

While the Mitsubishi case is the first of its kind in Japan, South Korean motor companies Hyundai and Kia were found to have manipulated their fuel economy figures in 2014. The duo agreed to pay up $350 million in U.S. penalties, and more to resolve claims from vehicle owners.

Today’s announcement from Mitsubishi comes in the wake of the 2015 VW emissions scandal, which saw the German automaker admit to cheating diesel economy tests in the U.S. and other countries. VW is currently recalling millions of vehicles and has estimated a total of €6.7 billion (approx. £5.3 billion) to cover the damage.


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