Mitsubishi Has Been Fuel Economy Testing Vehicles Improperly Since 1991

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A new report from Automotive News has revealed that Mitsubishi hasn’t been improperly testing its vehicles for fuel economy since 1991. Last week, the automaker also revealed that it hasn’t been in compliance with Japanese fuel economy testing standards since 2002. Mitsubishi has formed an external panel of three former persecutors to investigate its fuel economy misconduct scandal.

Customers bought our cars based on incorrect fuel-economy data,” said Mitsubishi president Tetsuro Aikawa during a press conference. “I can’t help but apologize.” After Mitsubishi revealed last week that it has been improperly testing its vehicles for fuel economy, concerns about its viability were reignited, causing its stock market shares to plunge. The automaker’s market value has since dropped torevealed last week that it has been improperly testing its vehicles for fuel economy concerns about its viability were reignited, causing its stock market shares to plunge. The automaker’s market value has since dropped to $3.85 billion.

Aikawa said that he wasn’t aware of the improper fuel economy testing and that Mitsubishi hasn’t decided on how it will compensate customers. Accord to Ryugo Nakao, Mitsubishi’s executive vice president, the automaker doesn’t know how many models have been tested improperly since 1991. Last week’s admission revealed that 625,000 mini cars’ fuel economy ratings were exaggerated by 10 percent. Three quarters of the vehicles rated with false data were supplied to Nissan as the Dayz and Dayz Roox city cars. Nissan first found the discrepancies while working on development for the next-generation mini-cars, which Mitsubishi manufactures.

The problem, according to Mitsubishi, is that the company improperly determined coast-down measurements for vehicles, which influences how their economy is measured during laboratory tests. In a statement issued today, Mitsubishi admitted that, “A relatively low value was selected from among the test results for use as the driving resistance value in order to give the appearance of greater fuel consumption.”

The Japanese government is forming a task force to prevent irregular vehicle testing, according to Keiichi Ishii, Japan’s transport minister. Mitsubishi may also have to pay back tax rebates to the Japanese government that its mini-cars weren’t eligible for and the automaker is in discussion with Nissan on how to compensate the latter’s customers.

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)