Thursday, April 28, 2016

Mitsubishi admits to lying about mileage numbers, the latest in a series of scandals plaguing the troubled Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has been falsifying its fuel economy numbers, the company’s president acknowledged on Tuesday.

To boost their mileage numbers for the pint-sized models sold in Japan that compete largely on fuel economy, Mitsubishi engineers apparently relied on data compiled by running the affected vehicles through American fuel economy tests. Those procedures involve extensive highway simulations to account for the fact that U.S. motorists drive longer distances and at higher speeds than their Japanese counterparts.

The stop-and-go driving in cities like Tokyo typically reduces fuel economy.

Since the cheating apparently dates back to at least 1991, industry observers believe Mitsubishi was likely to have falsified fuel economy numbers for other models. And the scandal also puts a fresh spotlight on what has become a spiraling epidemic of deceitfulness by automakers around the world, including the ongoing investigation of Volkswagen for admittedly cheating on diesel emissions tests, as well as General Motors, which covered up a defective ignition switch for a decade.

This isn't the first time this has happened. Several years ago, Korean siblings Hyundai and Kia revealed they had improperly run fuel economy tests, resulting in shortfalls of up to six miles per gallon for a range of models including the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Soul. The automaker paid out hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation and legal settlements. Ford Motor Co. subsequently compensated owners when it misstated fuel economy numbers on some of its models.

The automaker has suffered a series of setbacks over the past decade. In 2002, a woman walking down the sidewalk in Tokyo was killed when a wheel flew off a Mitsubishi truck. The vehicle had already been repaired under a secret warranty program meant to hide problems with a variety of the maker’s components, including brakes, clutches, and fuel tanks.

1 comment:

  1. It is sad that an automobile giant has to stoop that low just to get out of troubled waters. However, the competition amidst the car industry is getting tougher by the days so it is actually not surprising for companies to resort to lowly means just to stay on par with, if not ahead, of other competitors.