Mitsubishi Motors has admitted it has been using unorthodox fuel economy testing methods in Japan for the last quarter of a century.
The shocking announcement was made today, almost one week after Japan’s sixth-largest car manufacturer revealed it has been falsifying fuel economy test data. According to Reuters, the company has lost half of its market value since the original announcement and you can imagine this new piece of information will further affect the company’s finance.
In a previous statement, Mitsubishi admitted the oldest non-compliance concerning fuel economy dated back to at least 2002. However, now Mitsu is saying it has been using testing methods that do not comply with the Japanese regulations since 1991.
Rather than using the testing methods applicable in its domestic market, Mitsubishi performed the fuel economy tests using U.S. standards. The difference between the two is quite significant, as while the one in Japan focuses more on city driving, the U.S. tests put a greater emphasis on highway driving. Needless to say, fuel consumption is higher in a city’s stop and go traffic compared to driving on the highway at steadier speeds.
To try and escape from this ordeal as soon as possible, Mitsubishi has set up a special investigation committee consisting only of external experts. For the next three months, these people will be in charge of analyzing the company’s lengthy improper conduct and uncover the cold hard facts.
Source: Mitsubishi via Reuters
Establishment of Special Investigation Committee
In connection with the certification process for the mini-cars manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation ("MMC"), MMC hereby notifies that, yesterday, the board of directors decided to establish a special investigation committee (the "Committee") consisting of only external experts.
MMC expresses its most sincere apologies to all of our customers, shareholders, and stakeholders for any inconvenience or concern caused by this occasion.
1 Background for the establishment of the Committee
As announced, on April 20, 2016, in the press release titled "Improper conduct in fuel consumption testing on products manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC)," it has been revealed that, in the certification process for mini-cars manufactured by MMC, with respect to the fuel consumption testing data submitted to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, 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 (the "Matter"). For the sake of ensuring an objective and thorough investigation into the Matter, MMC has established this Committee in a way such that all members would be external experts independent from MMC.
2 Membership and activities of the Committee
i Membership of the Committee
The Committee is composed of the members, as follows, who have no conflicts of interest with MMC. Therefore, MMC has recognized no factor that would harm the independence and neutrality of the Committee. Further, MMC is considering appointing experts with technical knowledge to participate in the investigation.
Committee Chair: Keiichi WATANABE, Attorney at Law
(former Superintending Prosecutor, Tokyo High Prosecutors Office)
Committee Member: Yoshiro SAKATA, Attorney at Law
Committee Member: Genta YOSHINO, Attorney at Law
The Committee shall perform the following activities pursuant to MMC's delegation.
3 Schedule moving forward
The Committee shall investigate the Matter for about the next three months, and make a report on its results. MMC plans to disclose the report in a timely manner.
(For Reference) Profiles of the special investigate committee members: