A week back, we reported how Mitsubishi have been rigging fuel efficiency tests to show favourable figures. As it turns out, they have been fudging it since the past 25 years! The Japanese auto giant said it improperly tested the fuel economy of its cars for the past two and a half decades!
How did they do it? They over-inflated tyres. That's all! The automaker also said that it compiled data for fuel economy tests using U.S. standards, where highway driving forms a bulk of the commute. Japanese regulations changed way back in 1991 to account for urban stop and go commutes, which Mitsubishi failed to follow. It admitted to submitting non-compliant data to Japan's transport ministry since then.
The automaker has also set up an independent committee to investigate the matter, which is expected to submit a report in three months. Ever since it admitted to manipulating test data, the automaker has lost half of its market value (approximately Rs. 25,900 Crores). The cause of falsifying the test results seems to be aggressive internal targets, which may have put pressure on the employees. Mitsubishi Motors raised its fuel economy targets five times in two years, reaching 29.2 km/l from an initial target of 26.4 km/l. Fudging fuel economy numbers is a direct violation of Japan's fuel efficiency law. Buyers get a break in taxes if the vehicle claims to be efficient.
It is unclear as to how authorities plan on penalising Mitsubishi, or how the automaker plans on compensating the buyers. All said and done: the issue isn't as bad as the dieselgate scandal that Volkswagen pulled off. We are amused that they slid past the regulations for twenty-five years, though!
Source : CarDekho