By on April 26, 2016

2015 Mitsubishi Mirage ES

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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29 Comments on “Mitsubishi Fudged Japanese Mileage Data Since 1991...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    The thing that’s gonna hurt the worst is all those fines for the Diamante Wagons.

  • avatar
    06V66speed

    Lyin’ asses.

    Interestingly, the last time Mitsubishi was relevant was circa 1991. So, makes sense.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      That’s about right. They were killin’ it in the styling department, and offered interesting things with AWD ahead of their time.

      I always found the initial Diamante a very dignified, BMW-esque car.

      https://i.ytimg.com/vi/XwQnECdaI44/maxresdefault.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        06V66speed

        I always admired the Diamantes.

        It was one of the first cars I remember to have “frameless” windows on the doors (where the glass itself meets the weather-stripping on the car itself, if that makes sense).

        My family ran a large BHPH for years. Back when I was a kid, my parents kept making a big deal about an early Diamante. Clean, low mileaged, and black in color. They wanted to buy it, but the owner wouldn’t give them a deal on it. Guess he thought he could squeeze more money out of it from a customer as opposed to practically giving it to my folks (this would have been the mid 90’s). They later on felt as if they dodged a bullet, because the lot mechanic kept insisting that Mitsubishis had (and I quote) “bad engines”. Perhaps the mechanic was on to something…

        I also remember one particular repossession coming in. An early Diamante in forest green. Had large chrome wheels and a “system” (subs, amp, etc.) Me and my co-porter went ape-sh*t removing all of those “goods” from it. (Hey, whoever you are, thanks again! :)

        The guy never did come back to get it. We sold it sans the booming system but with the goofy wheels still attached. His complaints got him no where as we found paraphernalia (sorry about the spelling) strewn about the car. Lol

        Ah. The good ol’ days.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          What happened to the family BHPH business?

          • 0 avatar
            06V66speed

            The owner died about a year and a half ago. Crazy, because he was a huge health nut. Cancer’s a b*tch.

            The owner’s daughter owns it now. Some folks have questioned her business tactics, but they seem to be doing well.

            There’s a few of the original workers still working there. A couple of the same older salesman, one same office worker, etc. None of my family works there any longer.

            The owner was always really good to my family. Hell, it was my first job. Probably the reason I have this automotive affliction today. Sigh.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s sad to hear. At least you’ll always have your auto affliction.

          • 0 avatar
            06V66speed

            We all contracted this bug from somewhere…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I got mine from two places.

            1) Sitting at the McDonald’s which overlooked US50 (since demolished), I’d identify all the cars going by while I ate my Happy Meal and tell my mom what they were – at about age five. This was because of item 2.

            2) Hundreds of Matchbox cars, which I’d line up in perfect lines all in the basement according to color and make.

          • 0 avatar
            06V66speed

            You still have your Matchbox and Hot Wheels, correct? I’ve got a couple of big boxes of them as well.

            I also have about 15 or so 1/18 scale Maisto die casts. Of course, I took them *all* out of the box. Unfortunately.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I think a lot of them disappeared at garage sales years ago. I had two big tubs worth.

            I sold my 1/18 replicas (all unboxed, on a display shelf) to fund video games when I was in late middle school or early high school. There was an 89 SL500 in graphite I wish I still had.

            http://www.gasolinealleyantiques.com/diecast/images/118scale/28541-1989mercedesbenz500sl-black.JPG

            Like that one. Are these worth something today?

          • 0 avatar
            06V66speed

            That is quite nice. With regards to value though, haven’t the slightest.

            IIRC, the Franklin Mint die casts are the ones to have.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Used to play cars in the hall upstairs, and the various doorways were our three driveways. I liked that the steering wheels worked on those, and they had real suspensions.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Is seppuku still the order of the day for disgraced Japanese executives? Or is it jumping from a building?

  • avatar
    markorlando

    I know this may sound silly but my 15 Mirage exactly meets the mpg estimates with the ac on. Turn it off and it’s like the sky is the limit. I often see 50 mpg short city trips on my scanguage with the ac off. $13200 out the door. The best money I ever spent and the best city car for the money period.

    At least they got something right. The rest of the lineup is embarrassing.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      The lowly Mirage is carrying the US Mitsubishi operation right now. My initial disdain for it has become quiet admiration for the underdog.

      It really is the basic transportation that enthusiasts claim to want access to.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I cannot imagine getting such mileage. The highest MPG out of a tank I’ve ever seen in something I owned – 23!

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        That Mirage is both more efficient than both my lawnmower AND string trimmer. Jury’s out on the leafblower though.

      • 0 avatar
        markorlando

        I used to have 4 cars that I sold off over the winter before I moved. I had an 2014 F350 that got 12 mpg so I am no stranger to $60 fill ups. I filled up 2 days ago and I could not even jam $15 bucks in the car.

        When I moved to Orlando I started looking for a car and it was the 3500 rebate that sealed the deal. I figured that if I was sitting in traffic most of the time it really did not matter what it was as long as the ac was cold. My average speed is only 30 mph, so it’s not like I need 400 hp.

        I just drove up to orlando and back today about 54 miles. 41.3 mpg average today.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “In response to the crisis threatening the company’s very existence…”

    This would be bigger news here if Mitsubishi was a relevant player in the US.

  • avatar

    From the company that was once caught stuffing customers’ complaints into a locker? Shocked, I tells ya.

    Hard to believe this is the same company that once produced what was widely regarded as the best fighter airplane in the world in its year of release.

    • 0 avatar
      SC5door

      You could say the same thing about Chrysler in regards to their war effort and contributions to the space program.

    • 0 avatar
      06V66speed

      “Hard to believe this is the same company that once produced what was widely regarded as the best fighter airplane in the world in its year of release.”

      A great uncle of mine (Grandma’s brother, on my mom’s side) went down with the ship on the USS Arizona. Yup, Pearl Harbor.

      One day, I learned that it was Mitsubishi airplanes that sank said USS Arizona (IIRC). When I learned of that, at that time, I was actually daily driving a Mitsubishi Galant.

      I always wondered what my Great Uncle would’ve thought about that :/

      • 0 avatar
        CPTG

        Not to burst yer bubble, but you are woefully ignorant on yer history. Yes, the Mitsubishi Zero was a state of the art naval fighter in 1940 which made mince meat of Americas best in 1940 the mighty Curtis P36 and B18 Bolo!!! But, like an American car of the mid 1970s, Mitsubitshi kept cranking out their obsolete 940hp fighter against superior American fighters like the 2000hp CorsairF4U.

        Although Volkswagen paid its slave laborers after the war, Mitsubishi did not which is why my CSM refused to have anything to do with the three red diamonds because his father booked an all expenses paid cruise ship (Hell Ship) from the PI to Mitsubishi’s mines in Japan. And who caused Mitsubishi to legally not pay? The God known as Douglas M. [Japan paid $5million to absolve itself of all war crimes].

        But that was then and this is now. Ya gotta move on. Hey, I’ve forgiven the Kaiser for WWI but not the Canadians for TWICE throwing Us out of their country like a bar tender would the town drunkard (1775 & 1812-4). We wanted to give EVERY Canadian their God Given right to own slaves and look how they treated us?!!! Some People!!!

  • avatar
    CPTG

    First the Volkswagen cheating Scandle, NOW it’s Mitsubishi and their Fudge Factoring?!!! That does it, my Next car will be AMERICAN.

    Come on, America—Lets all BUY a GM car and make THE SWITCH. Uhhh, wait a minute…

  • avatar
    ExPatBrit

    Driving a Mitsubishi or Suzuki during a TV show marks the character as being a ne’er-do-well or loser. Doesn’t matter how new or nice it is, the cars are typecast in that role.

    In Better call Saul which just finished season 2, the law partners drive leased Mercedes whilst the lead actress Kim who did not make partner drives an Eclipse. Jimmy gives up his Benz when he quits and resumes driving his Suzuki.

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