Mitsubishi has admitted that it has been cheating on fuel economy tests for the past 25 years.
The Japanese automaker admitted that its improper testing and data tampering date back to 1991 and that it hasn’t been adhering to Japan’s testing standards since 2002.
Last week, Nissan engineers discovered discrepancies with Mitsubishi cars they were testing, and when brought to the attention of Mitsubishi, the company admitted that “data had been intentionally manipulated in its fuel economy testing process.”
The revelation has led Mitsubishi to lose nearly half of its market value. Mitsubishi has issued public apologies but hasn’t decided how it will compensate consumers.
Last week when the news broke, Mitsubishi said that the fuel efficiency of about 625,000 Kei cars in Japan was exaggerated by as much as 10 percent. That number is expected to grow significantly after today’s revelations.
Japanese authorities are investigating further and are taking steps to prevent companies from cheating on fuel economy tests in the future. It is not yet known what kind of legal action will be taken against Mitsubishi.
As an automaker that has had poor sales in North America, this scandal may be the event that finally pushes Mitsubishi out of the market entirely.
[Source: Bloomberg via Automotive News]