By on April 20, 2016

Mitsubishi kei car

Mitsubishi Motors has some ‘splaining to do after fuel economy figures for its tiny overseas eK wagon were proven to be false.

The automaker overstated gas mileage by five to 10 percent over the last three model years, Bloomberg reports, allowing the minicars to be classified as greener than they actually were.

Powered by small-displacement three-cylinder engines, the vehicles are called “kei cars” in Japan (no, not K-cars).

Now that the deception has been revealed, Mitsubishi will have to pay back the government subsidies that were offered on the 620,000 vehicles sold under false pretenses, and shareholders are not happy about that.

Mitsubishi’s stock nosedived more than 15 percent when news of the scandal broke — its biggest plunge since the company’s safety scandal of the early 2000s. Reuters reported that company president Tetsuro Aikawa bowed in apology during a press conference in Tokyo.

However, bowing won’t help the finances or reputation of an automaker already struggling to regain its sales status in the U.S. market.

Fuel economy figures of new models will be heavily scrutinized from now on, not just at Mitsubishi, but across the industry. Mitsubishi isn’t the first automaker to try this. Hyundai and Kia had to lower their fuel economy claims and pay out cash to customers after they were caught overstating mileage on 2011-2013 models, while Ford was hauled into court over misleading claims.

[Image: IwateBuddy/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)]

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8 Comments on “Tiny Vehicle’s Thirst Means a Supersized Headache for Mitsubishi...”


  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Bowing makes everything all better, take note VAG.

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    Imagine that. Government demands compliance with fantasy standards; and then gets fantasy compliance.

    Who’d a thunk it? I guess it’s too old-fashioned, simple-minded and retrograde to just have manufacturers SUPPLY fuel use results, and/or obtain them independently; and then let the vehicles sell – or not – on their own merits.

    • 0 avatar
      05lgt

      A man named John Finch said something you should think about:
      This arm is my arm (and my wife’s), it is not yours. Up here I have a right to strike out with it as I please. I go over there with these gentlemen and swing my arm and exercise the natural right which you have granted; I hit one man on the nose, another under the ear, and as I go down the stairs on my head, I cry out:

      “Is not this a free country?”

      “Yes, sir.”

      “Have not I a right to swing my arm?”

      “Yes, but your right to swing your arm leaves off where my right not to have my nose struck begins.”

      Here civil government comes in to prevent bloodshed, adjust rights, and settle disputes.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    They forgot to tell the buyer that you have to disengage the blade to get the full MPG.

  • avatar
    RHD

    “Mitsubishi” is Japanese for “Volkswagen”.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I dont give a damn, I still want a kei car. A Honda N-One, or, a more obtainable Honda Z600.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do believe most all emissions and FE testing is a joke.

    All one has to do is look at the 2.7 EcoBoost F-150. One test by a reputable organisation could only return 15.6mpg and another reputable organisation (Truck Trend) is returning just under 17mpg.

    Vehicle emissions should be tested at higher power levels under more realistic driving situations.

    I think you will find most vehicles are designed to pass a particular test rather than provide an overall better level of FE and emissions output.

    A vehicle should also be tested running at it’s maximum GVM, ie, load and tow included.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The current regime is what you get, when the rules are written by lobbyists for manufacturers, as a sales tool to make gullible customers more likely to buy more.

      Similar to how ever growing bonuses for Goldman Sachs Executives is what you get, when legislation to “grow the economy” is being written after consultation with, tah-dah, Goldman Sachs executives….

      Weird how things work out, ain’t it?

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