Mitsubishi manipulates fuel data since 1991, sources say image

Latest reports indicate that Mitsubishi have used non-compliant fuel economy testing methods in Japan since 1991.

The latest scandal in the automotive world starts to show its roots. Mitsubishi has admitted last week that it submitted some unrealistically-low fuel consumption figures to the Japanese regulators for around 625,000 locally sold cars. The manipulation was initially found by Nissan, which sells some models made by Mitsubishi. Separately, the company said it has used a method to test mileage since 2002 that is not compliant with Japanese standards.

However, the local Nikkei business daily said that the automaker has been using these “unorthodox” practices since 1991, a report that was also confirmed by another source briefed on the issue, who afterwards disclosed the information to Reuters. These revelations wiped off more than a third of Japan’s sixth-largest automaker market value, while they also triggered an investigation by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Furthermore, it made Japan’s transport ministry demand the company to submit a full report on test manipulation within a week and for other domestic automakers to submit fuel economy test data by May 18.

The scandal has deeper and wider implications, as fuel manipulation affects some overseas models as well. Local media reported that Mitsubishi submitted wrong fuel readings on its i-MiEV electric car, which is sold outside Japan, while there are other suspicions on its RVR, Outlander, Pajero and Minicab MiEV models.