Mitsubishi Motors Admits to Using False Fuel Consumption Data Since 1991
Alexander Neil / 4 years ago
Recently, Mitsubishi took the spotlight for a rather embarrassing reason, it had been revealed that some of their vehicle’s fuel economy figures had been falsified to make them seem more favourable. Now it turns out that this faking runs far deeper than first thought, with it coming to light that the Japanese automobile firm has been using falsified fuel consumption data for the last 25 years.
At first, it was believed that the only cars developed by Mitsubishi that was falsifying their data for were a small number of mini-cars that are sold only in Japan and designed for busy city driving including the eK wagon, eK Space and Nissan’s Dayz and Dayz Roox. As it turns out, back in 1991, fuel consumption regulations had been changed in order to provide a better view of a car’s performance in the common stop-start situations that occur especially when in urban areas. Despite this, Mitsubishi Motors chose to ignore the change and continued to measure the consumption as before, with executive vice president Ryugo Nakao admitting that “We should have switched, but it turns out we didn’t.” It is now unknown just how many cars over the years may have been sold with fuel consumption that did not correctly comply with regulations.
Tetsuro Aikawa, president of Mitsubishi Motors admitted that an external enquiry into the incident had been launched by three lawyers stating that “We don’t know the whole picture and we are in the process of trying to determine that. I feel a great responsibility.” Since the scandal began, shares in Mitsubishi Motors have tumbled by around 50%, with each new revelation on the incident seeming to drag them down further.
Exactly what this means for the future of Mitsubishi Motors is unknown, last time the company ran into major trouble 15 years ago, they were bailed out by other members of the Mitsubishi Group and continued operations. They may not be so lucky this time, with Takehiko Kakiuchi, chief executive of Mitsubishi Corporation commenting that he was “aghast” at the issues facing the sister company. Business may go on at the other companies in the Mitsubishi Group, but there is the very real question of whether the iconic Japanese car brand will cease to be.