As expected, Mitsubishi’s sales of its mini models plunged last month in Japan after the automaker admitted it manipulated the mileage readings.
Even if Mitsubishi is not quite a strong player on Japan’s mini-vehicle market, selling low volumes of “kei” cars each month, the latest delivery figures point out how much damage such a scandal could do. According to monthly figures released by the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association, demand for the automaker’s mini models plunged by 44.9 percent to 1,477 vehicles in April, compared with the same month a year earlier. After the company came upfront and said it did not quite make the initial fuel consumption testing by the book and it submitted some unrealistic figures to the Japanese regulators, it was forced to issue a stop sale of its eK Wagon and eK Space models and also of the Dayz and Dayz Roox made for Nissan. This also led to a drastic drop in deliveries for Nissan of its mini-cars, which fell 51.2 percent to 5,574 units last month.
The mileage scandal affects so far only vehicles with 660-cc engines sold in Japan, but Mitsubishi said that some other models may by non-compliant as well. Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency requested the automaker to conduct additional testing for vehicles sold in the US. The company shortly followed with a statement claiming that fuel economy readings of all vehicles in the US market are accurate and comply with EPA standards.