Mitsubishi Fudged Japanese Mileage Data Since 1991
Mitsubishi’s fuel economy scandal blew up yesterday after the automaker admitted it has issued misleading mileage data since C+C Music Factory was at the top of the charts.
The scandal that started with inflated mileage numbers on a single minicar one week ago now extends to all Japanese market Mitsubishi vehicles sold over the past quarter century. Reuters is reporting that the automaker compiled fuel economy data using U.S. standards, rather than the Japanese standards that factor in much more city driving.
That data was then sent to the Japanese Transport Minister to become official. Using the U.S. standard leads to a higher mileage figure, and it’s easy to see how this would be appealing to a competitive automaker.
The ballooning scandal wiped out half of the company’s market value in just over a week, with shares dropping from 864 Japanese Yen on April 19 to 434 JPY earlier today.
In a Tuesday press conference, Mitsubishi Motors president Tetsuro Aikawa denied knowing of the misleading data, Bloomberg reports.
“Customers bought our cars based on incorrect fuel-economy data,” Aikawa told the media. “I can’t help but apologize.”
In response to the crisis threatening the company’s very existence, Mitsubishi set up a special investigations committee made up of outside investigators. The investigators will probe the issue for three months before returning with a report.
Meanwhile, Mitsubishi faces the growing likelihood it will have to pay severe fines.
While the scandal seems to only concern models sold on the other side of the Pacific, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requested fuel economy data on U.S. models late last week.
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