Mitsubishi has stopped production of 4 vehicles – including 2 it made for Nissan – following fuel data discrepancies.
Update: Mitsubishi president, Tetsuro Aikawa, has conceded there may be more models that have been incorrectly measured for fuel efficiency than stated in the article below. This is still very vague information, but we'll have more on this as it comes.
Mitsubishi fuel data tests failed legal standards
Mitsubishi confirmed it deliberately published inaccurate fuel consumption data for cars sold in Japan; some of which were badged Nissan. It revealed that its test method was “different” than required by law – so vehicles were less fuel efficient than stated.
The Mitsubishi eK Wagon and eK Space fell foul of the rules, and 157,000 were sold up to the end of March 2016. The company also produced the Dayz and Dayz Roox on behalf of Nissan, of which 468,000 found homes. All 625,000 vehicles are defined as mini-cars.
Mitsubishi argued: “We express deep apologies to all of our customers and stakeholders for this issue.” It added: “We have decided to stop production and sales of the applicable cars.” Nissan has also withdrawn its vehicles from the market and the manufacturers will now “discuss compensation”, Mitsubishi revealed.
Nissan discovered fuel data discrepancies
Nissan explained: “Nissan recently became aware of the discrepancies in data obtained from Mitsubishi concerning our Mitsubishi-sourced, Japanese-market, kei-cars (small). This discovery was made during Nissan's assessment of data from the current model as part of our development of next generation vehicle.”
Nissan continued: “We immediately brought the discrepancy to the attention of Mitsubishi as they are responsible for the development and homologation of the current vehicles. In response to Nissan's request, Mitsubishi has admitted that data has been intentionally manipulated in its fuel economy testing process for certification.”
Mitsubishi faces financial consequences
Mitsubishi Motors now faces a range of potential consequences such as loss of reputation. Furthermore, Joe Rundle, Head of Trading at ETX Capital, suggested these events could cost the company hundreds of millions of pounds. His conclusion is based on a precedent set by the recent, somewhat similar, Volkswagen Group Emission Scandal.
Mr Rundle said: “At the last calculation, VW has set aside €6.7 billion (£5.2 billion) for around 9 million affected cars.” That is approximately €750 (£590) per vehicle. Therefore: “We could reasonably assume that this will cost Mitsubishi around €450 million (£354 million), if costs were incurred at the same rate.”
Concern that Mitsubishi fuel scandal could spread
“But the real question is really how far this scandal goes” as the company sells to a vast range of markets including the: United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada, Mexico, France and Germany.
For its part, Mitsubishi said: “Taking into account the seriousness of these issues, we will also conduct an investigation into products manufactured for overseas markets.” It added: “In order to conduct an investigation into these issues objectively and thoroughly, we plan to set up a committee consisting of only external experts.”