The Verge– Japanese automaker Mitsubishi has admitted manipulating fuel economy data related to some 625,000 vehicles. The company announced the news at a press conference this morning, apologizing for the deception and saying it is investigating the employees involved. The manipulated data covers four vehicle models that fall under the Japanese category of kei car. This is a classification that covers minivans, trucks, and passenger cars, but is reserved for vehicles that meet economical fuel consumption standards and are consequently taxed at a lower rate.
The models affected include the eK Wagon and eK Space, manufactured and sold by Mitsubishi, and the Dayz and Dayz Roox, manufactured by Mitsubishi and supplied to Nissan for sale. According to Mitsubishi, it was Nissan’s in-house testers that discovered the discrepancy between the cars’ published fuel efficiency data, and their real-life results.
Mitsubishi today announced that they have been manipulating fuel economy data in their Japanese vehicles in a similar manner to which Volkswagen did with their vehicles back in late 2015. At this point, it should honestly surprise no one that these companies are actively faking this test data to push out cars that do not meet the stringent environmental standards set forth by the local governments. For those of you that do not know how the testing works, the companies have an agent come in and test the cars on a roller than simulates driving. What these companies like VW and Mitsubishi have done and have been presumably getting away with is that they have the car output less emissions when hooked up on these rollers. When driving on the road, the cars output more carbon emissions that are over the specified limits yet still pass the tests based on the faked results. It all boils down to a code implemented that actually changes the amount of emissions based on if the car is being tested or not. Savvy move if you ask me.
Regardless, Mitsubishi stock plummeted 15% the day after the news, and other car companies should be quick to take note. I know that most of these cars are not being sold in the US and this news should not affect most, but be weary that any company is liable for these type of emissions cheat codes. As the US government moves to increasingly stricter measures and a possible limiting of gasoline product, these companies will continue to find new ways to get their cars to the US market. Don’t think your car manufacturer of choice is off the hook (unless you’re Ford or GM, then the government will take extra care of you to make sure this doesn’t happen).