Mitsubishi Motors’ fuel-economy scandal widens

Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Japan’s sixth-biggest automaker by sales, admitted to manipulating fuel-economy data on more car models than previously reported. After completing a review of all 20 models it has sold in the past 10 years, Mitsubishi Motors admitted to falsifying fuel economy data on 20 models sold domestically between 2006 and 2016.

The company said it will book a JPY 50 billion (USD 479.5 million) one-time loss in the current financial year, which is more than triple the initial estimated cost, to pay owners of the affected vehicles.

In April, the company said it falsified fuel economy data on four models only. Two of these mini-cars were manufactured by Mitsubishi but sold under Nissan Motor Co.’s brand name.

This latest fuel-economy debacle has resulted in the resignation of the company’s President, Tetsuro Aikawa. Mitsubishi Motors was also forced to sell a 34% controlling stake in the company to Nissan Motor Co. for more than USD 2 billion, subject to regulatory approval. As part of the deal, Nissan will appoint Mitsuhiko Yamashita to head Mitsubishi Motors’ vehicle development.