Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Mitsubishi Motors says it has lied about fuel economy data since 1991. The AP (4/27, Kageyama) reports Mitsubishi Motors acknowledged that it has falsified fuel economy data since 1991. President Tetsuro Aikawa said the company was still probing the matter, “We don’t know the whole picture and we are in the process of trying to determine that.” The AP pushed Mitsubishi to do more tests on the vehicles it sells in the US, but the EPA did not say whether it believes the automaker lied about its data in the US.
Bloomberg News (4/26, Horie, 2.07M) reports that “for the second time in about a decade, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. faces a scandal that poses an existential threat.” The Japanese automaker “has improperly tested the fuel economy of its cars for the past quarter century, widening the scope of misconduct that executives initially said dated back to 2002.” Bloomberg adds that “the Mitsubishi Motors board formed a panel of three ex-prosecutors to investigate for about three months,” and “until then, customers, investors and minicar partner Nissan Motor Co. may be left waiting for information about the number of affected models and details of compensation.” Bloomberg notes that “wrongdoing by the Japanese automaker and Volkswagen AG has prompted a reckoning of the ways carmakers test for and label the fuel economy and exhaust emissions of their vehicles.”
The Wall Street Journal (4/26, Kubota, Subscription Publication, 6.27M) reports that Mitsubishi had also based fuel-economy data on desktop calculations for some domestic minicars, instead of vehicle-based tests as Japanese law requires. The Journal notes that this new revelation shows that Japanese regulators relied on voluntary reporting for fuel-economy data, and are now considering toughening regulations.