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Mitsubishi confesses to fudging fuel economy data in Japan

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“We found that with respect to the fuel consumption testing data…[Mitsubishi] conducted testing improperly to present better fuel consumption rates than the actual rates”, Tetsuro Aikawa said at a press conference in Tokyo. They added that Japanese law required a specific testing method, but their staff did a different version.

The affected models for the said scandal are the minicar models which include the eK Wagon and eK Space and the Dayz and Dayz Roox which were manufactured by Mitsubishi for Nissan Motors. Mitsubishi has said it’s stopped producing and selling the vehicles involved, and an independent investigation is already underway.

Japanese authorities raided the office of multinational automotive manufacturer Mitsubishi Motors on Thursday after the carmaker admitted that it falsified its fuel economy data.

Lance Bradley, UK managing director, assured customers that only Japanese-market cars were confirmed to have cheated on emissions tests.

“We are disappointed this has occurred and regret that an incident like this can also happen in Japan”, said Takao Onoda, director at the ministry’s recall division.

It also marks the latest blow for “Japan Inc” after auto parts giant Takata was hammered by an exploding air bag defect blamed for at least 11 deaths, and as Toshiba tries to recover from a huge accounting scandal.

 Mitsubishi’s announcement follows last year’s revelation that Volkswagen had rigged diesel models with software to cheat emissions tests.

The company is planning to start an investigation to verify whether data was falsified for vehicles sold overseas.

Prior to that in 2014, South Korea’s Hyundai and Kia agreed to pay tens of millions of dollars in fine to settle a litigation in the U.S., again for exaggerating the fuel efficiency on its cars sold in 2012 and 2013. He also said that that the testing process did not follow standards in the country set in 2002.

Japan’s Mitsubishi Motors has seen its share price plummet 33 percent in two days after it apologised for rigging fuel efficiency tests for mini cars sold in Japan.

Kim Earnest

The author Kim Earnest

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