Mitsubishi admits to cheating on fuel economy tests

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. apologized Wednesday while admitting it improperly tested fuel consumption rates for minicar models sold in Japan, giving 625,000 vehicles inflated fuel efficiency rates.

The tests allowed the company to inflate rates by 5 to 10 percent, Bloomberg reported. Mitsubishi is investigating to determine who is responsible and whether any models manufactured for other markets were effected.

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The faulty tests were done on four vehicles manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors Corp.: two Mitsubishi models and two produced for Nissan Motors Corp. Mitsubishi sold 147,000 of its eK Wagon and eK Space vehicles up until the end of March, a spokesperson said, and supplied Nissan with 468,000 of its Dayz and Dayz Roox models.

The company discovered that air and tire resistance figures were manipulated to its advantage after Nissan noticed a discrepancy while testing its minicars manufactured by Mitsubishi.

During a briefing in Tokyo Wednesday, Mitsubishi Motors President Tetsuro Aikawa bowed in apology and said the test data manipulation was “intentional,” according to Bloomberg.

Mitsubishi plans to launch an external committee to investigate what happened.

The company's shares fell 15 percent in Tokyo after the revelations, marking the largest decline in Mitsubishi Motors stock in more than a decade, Bloomberg reported.

Mitsubishi has stopped producing the four models affected by the faulty tests. Both Mitsubishi and Nissan stopped sales of the affected vehicles.

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