Energy & Environment

Mitsubishi admits to decades of improper fuel testing

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has established a “special investigation committee” to probe improper fuel efficiency testing methods the company says have gone on for decades.

The automaker says it hasn’t complied with Japanese fuel efficiency testing standards since 2002, Bloomberg News reports, and that its improper testing methods date back to 1991.

Three former public prosecutors will now sit on the company’s investigative committee to probe “improper conduct in fuel consumption testing on products manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation,” the company announced on Tuesday.

Mitsubishi said last week that the fuel efficiency of 625,000 of its vehicles had been exaggerated by up to 10 percent. The company “conducted testing improperly, to present better fuel consumption rates than the actual rates,” it said in a Tuesday press release, “and that the testing method was also different from the one required by Japanese law.”

The company’s president apologized for the scandal during a press conference on Tuesday. 

“Customers bought our cars based on incorrect fuel-economy data,” Tetsuro Aikawa said. “I can’t help but apologize.” 

Mitsubishi’s admission is the second time in a year a major automaker has been accused of improperly reporting data to government agencies. Federal regulators last year said Volkswagen Group had installed illegal “defeat devices” on its diesel-fuel vehicles that allowed the cars to emit more pollution than required testing showed. 

VW has set aside $18.2 billion to pay for the fallout of the emissions scandal, the company reported last week.

Tags Japan Volkswagen VW emissions scandal

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