Mitsubishi have admitted that they falsified the fuel economy tests for over 600,000 vehicles sold in Japan.
They further said that tyre pressure figures were falsified by employees in order to improve mileage rates. Almost 470,00o cars that Mitsubushi created for Nissan were affected, which was discovered after Nissan found inconsistencies.
The admittance from Mitsubushi has unsurprisingly affected their stocks, which are down by 15% in Tokyo, making it their biggest one-day fall in nearly 12 years.
Several company bosses, including president Tetsuro Aikawa, held a press conference this morning regarding the doctored fuel economy results.
Aikawa said: “The wrongdoing was intentional. It is clear the falsification was done to make the mileage look better. But why they would resort to fraud to do this is still unclear.”
Then, despite being unaware of the falsifications, Aikawa said: “I feel responsible.”
The tests with the doctored results include 468,000 vehicles made for Nissan and 157,000 of Mitsubushi’s own cars. The affected models include Mitsubishi’s ek Wagon and eK Space, as well as Nissan’s Dayz and Dayz Roox.
According to Lance Bradley, UK managing director of Mitsubishi Motors, there is no evidence that any of the models sold in the UK or Europe have been affected.
The announcement from Mitsubishi follows fairly closely on the heels of the Volkswagen emissions scandal last year, when we discovered they had cheated emissions tests in the US.
Another thing to remember, is that while Mitsubishi is the sixth-largest car manufacturer in Japan, they have less than 1% of the UK market. So, while Mitsubishi undoubtedly had motivation to fudge the numbers in Japan, the low market share in the UK made it probably not worth the risk.
However, even though this doesn’t directly effect UK or EU customers, this revelation will undoubtedly have an impact here. Following the Volkswagen scandal, the reputation and consumer trust in the vehicle industry is already low. It will be interesting to see what impact, if any, this has on the larger vehicle market.