Scope of MMC Data Scandal Expands

The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), May 13, 2016 | Go to article overview

Scope of MMC Data Scandal Expands


Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s mileage scandal expanded Wednesday when it admitted that fuel economy data are believed to have been falsified for models other than the four initially suspected minivehicle models.

The admission indicates the possibility that the automaker has been consistently violating the law. At a press conference, however, MMC executives offered only vague answers as to why their company had engaged in manipulation that, if uncovered, had the potential to shake the very foundations of MMC.

Additional models whose data may have been falsified include RVRs, sport-utility vehicles that serve as a mainstay of the MMC brand. The automaker is believed to have failed to conduct field tests to determine the running resistance for these models.

"The RVR and other models are suspected to have been assigned [mileages] based on desktop calculations," President Tetsuro Aikawa said.

For some RVR models, there is a discrepancy between the mileage data MMC reported to the government and new mileages obtained after the scandal was revealed, according to the company.

MMC's in-house investigation also found that the fuel economies for the four minivehicle models initially involved in the scandal were worse than those listed in sales catalogs by a maximum of about 15 percent. The automaker initially claimed that the discrepancies were only in the range of 5 percent to 10 percent.

Moreover, MMC obtained data for those minivehicles from field tests conducted in Thailand.

"We knew we could obtain relatively better running resistance readings [by conducting fields tests] in warmer regions," Aikawa said.

Deep-rooted problems

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Osamu Masuko, in his first public appearance since the scandal was revealed in late April, also attended Wednesday's press conference.

"I believe the management should be held responsible for having failed to change the mindset [at the company]," he said. …

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