Home / Industry / Manufacturing /  Mitsubishi joins club of carmakers caught manipulating fuel economy tests

New Delhi: On a day when German automaker Volkswagen AG reached a deal to compensate diesel car owners affected by its scandalous emissions fixing, Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) admitted to “improper conduct in fuel consumption testing".

In a statement, Mitsubishi said, “MMC conducted testing improperly to present better fuel consumption rates than the actual rates; and that the testing method was also different from the one required by Japanese law. We express deep apologies to all of our customers and stakeholders for this issue."

The scandal is the biggest involving the company since the early 2000s, when it admitted to systematically concealing safety records and customers’ complaints since 1977.

The improper fuel consumption tests involved around 625,000 cars, including those that Mitsubishi manufactured for Nissan. “The number of Nissan cars affected was 468,000, while 157,000 were sold under the Mitsubishi brand," The Guardian reported.

Mitsubishi is not alone when it comes to manipulating fuel economy tests. Here’s a list of other carmakers who have been caught or admitted to cheating about their vehicles’ mileage.

Hyundai and Kia (2012)

In November 2012, South Korean carmakers Hyundai and Kia admitted to overstating the fuel economy for “more than a third of the vehicles they sold in the US" since 2010. In 2014, they agreed to pay a $350 million penalty to US authorities to end the US environmental agency and department of justice investigation into the scandal, which affected around 1.2 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles in the US.

Volkswagen (2015)

Soon after it admitted to rigging emission tests in September last year, the Wolfsburg-based Volkwagen, in November, said that an internal investigation had uncovered “inconsistencies" which saw carbon dioxide emission and fuel consumption being understated or “set too low during the CO2 certification process". It affected about 800,000 cars in Europe.

BMW Mini Cooper (2014)

In 2014, BMW AG was rapped by the US environmental protection agency (EPA) for overstating fuel economy claims for four of its 2014 Mini Cooper models. The EPA, as per a Reuters report, had tested “the four models and oversaw tests by BMW technicians and came up with lower fuel economy values than BMW initially submitted to the agency". Subsequently, the company agreed to lower fuel economy claims.

Ford (2014)

Ford had to lower its fuel economy ratings twice in 2014, after overstating the fuel efficiency of its vehicles. The company, according to a report in The New York Times, had stated that “it would reduce the mileage rating on six new models, most of them hybrids". It also agreed to pay “$125 to $1,050 (to) top customers who own or lease about 200,000 of the cars in the United States".

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