Japan’s government has said Mitsubishi Motors overstated mileage on its vehicles by up to 16%, but stopped short of slapping further penalties on the company.
The transport ministry said the figure came from its own mileage tests to look into cheating by the Japanese carmaker on its minicar models, tiny cars eligible for tax breaks in Japan and reputed to deliver very good mileage.
Mitsubishi Motors acknowledged recently it had systematically inflated mileage for eK minicar models, as well as other models.
But it said it did not lie on mileage on models sold abroad.
Last month, Nissan took a 34% stake in Mitsubishi, promising to help a turn-around. Under a special agreement, Mitsubishi had supplied the models to Nissan, which does not make its own minicars.
Nissan’s own tests had uncovered the mileage cheating.
The ministry said the mileage Mitsubishi initially gave was off by an average of 11% and up to 16%.
That was close to what Mitsubishi had given when it acknowledged its wrongdoing and released new estimates. Mitsubishi is under orders to submit fixed data to the government.
“We find it deplorable that the actual mileage was so much lower,” said minister Keiichi Ishii.
Mitsubishi’s latest scandal follows its massive and systematic cover-up of defects that surfaced in the early 2000s, which had spanned decades.
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