While the scandal at Mitsubishi Motors is slowly winding down, it seems another one is ready to make the headlines. Suzuki Motors officials have revealed just a few hours ago the company has been using non-compliant fuel economy testing methods. Spokesman Hidehiro Hirano announced this morning the company’s chairman, Osamu Suzuki, will report this problem later today to Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).
Suzuki states the issue concerns 16 models sold only in its domestic market and all these cars were tested using methods different than the ones specified by the Japanese regulations. It’s important to mention that Japan’s fourth-largest car manufacturer points out that it has not deliberately manipulated the test results.
After analyzing the measuring process of driving resistance of all 16 models, Suzuki discovered the problem. Instead of submitting the measured data of the car through the coasting test, it provided a build-up of measured data obtained from individual components during rolling resistance tests and air resistance tests in the wind tunnel.
Suzuki continued the investigation and compared the two sets of results that showed “all certified values remained within the range of measurement deviation.” The company does admit there is a discrepancy between the values, but believes it's small and it should not pose a significant problem. Suzuki mentions part of the issue is the location of its Sagara proving ground, at the top of a hill, near the sea. Weather conditions - especially wind - have an impact on the results of the tests.
These are the 16 models which are subject to investigation:
- Alto Lapin
- Wagon R
- SX4 S-CROSS
- Escudo 2.4
- Jimny Sierra
Shortly after the news emerged, Suzuki’s shares tumbled by 11 percent during the afternoon trade in Japan. It could have been a lot worse, as at one point during the day value dropped by 15 percent.
Further to the instruction from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) regarding investigation of the actual emissions and fuel efficiency tests, Suzuki reported the result of investigation to the ministry today.
As the outcome of our internal investigation, acts of injustice, such as manipulation of fuel efficiency data were not found. Meanwhile, some discrepancies were found in the automobile emission and fuel efficiency testing process between the regulation by MLIT and the actual method carried out by Suzuki and therefore Suzuki herewith reports on the issue as follows. We would like to express our deep apologies to all our customers and stakeholders on this issue.
1. Measuring method different from regulations specified by the government.
Suzuki reviewed the measuring process of driving resistance of all 16 models currently available for sale. It was found that instead of actually measured data of the car through the coasting test, the submitted driving resistance data at the time of application for certificate was a build-up of actually measured data of individual components such as tires, brakes and transmission from rolling resistance tests and air resistance tests in the wind tunnel and upon verification of adequateness compared with actually measured data of the car through the coasting test.
2. Cause of the issue
We consider the background lies in the fact that Sagara proving ground owned by us locates on top on a hill close to sea, where it is significantly affected by weather conditions such as influence of wind and carrying out tests were difficult.
The recent improvements in fuel efficiency technology accompanied by reduced rolling resistance and vehicle weight have greater tendency for cars to be influenced by wind as well as results spread in wider variations. In case of adopting tires with less rolling resistance, for an example, it is difficult to perceive the effect without variation in data, and have to increase the number of tests
3. Influence on fuel efficiency value, etc.
In the course of the investigation, we measured actual data through the coasting test in addition to the data already obtained by the time of application for certificate through the coasting test. As the result of verification of all certified fuel efficiency value with these actual data through the coasting test, all certified values remained within the range of measurement deviation.
Therefore, we consider it not necessary to amend the driving resistance value applied, nor the fuel efficiency value measured using the driving resistance value.
As for performance regarding emissions, it complies with the safety standards and we consider it does not have any problems.
Suzuki assures users to continue use of its products at ease.
4. 16 models subject to investigation
- Alto（Launched on 22nd December, 2014）
- Alto Lapin（Launched on 3rd June, 2015）
- Wagon R（Launched on 19th September, 2012）
- Hustler（Launched on 8th January, 2014）
- Spacia（Launched on 15th March, 2013）
- Every（Launched on 18th February, 2015）
- Carry（Launched on 20th September, 2013）
- Jimny（Running change in 2010）
<Ordinary and large motor vehicles>
- Solio（Launched on 26th August, 2015）
- Ignis（Launched on 18th February, 2016）
- Baleno（Launched on 9th March, 2016）
- SX4 S-CROSS（Launched on 19th February, 2015）
- Swift（Launched on 18th September, 2010）
- Escudo 2.4（Running change in 2012）
- Escudo（Launched on 15th October, 2015）
- Jimny Sierra（Running change in 2010）
The above issues do not apply to products sold under Suzuki badge outside Japan.
Suzuki assumes that the fact would not have any impact on forecasts for the consolidated operating results at the moment. If any matters occur in the future that require modifications to the consolidated earnings forecasts, such matter shall be promptly disclosed