Mitsubishi’s 25 Year Lie

Posted by: Xavier Kwan onApril 27th, 2016


When you lie, you either have to take it to the grave, or you fess up when you’re caught. In the case of Mitsubishi, it looks like they are not at the forefront of a fuel mileage scandal that stretches all the way back to 1991.

The issue came to light when Nissan found fuel economy inconsistencies in some of their tiny kei-class cars which were made by Mitsubishi. When Mitsubishi was confronted, they fessed up about the fuel economy issue and said it might impact as much as 625,000 vehicles. US regulators are now in on the investigation as well and requested data from Mitsubishi to confirm the accuracy of the fuel economy numbers stated for the vehicles sold in the US.

The numbers on fuel consumption is typically calculated with a formula which takes into account driving resistance which is based on a coasting test determined by Japan’s Road Transport Vehicle Act. What Mitsubishi has done is have their engineers create their own “high-speed coasting test”. Much later in 2007 Mitsubishi decided to stick to Japan’s mandated testing protocol. However, in pockets of the company, engineers continued to use the old approach which introduces inconsistent standards in the calculation of fuel mileage.

So far, Mitsubishi has only admitted to incorrect fuel economy data on their minicars. However, the investigation is only seeing the minicars as a starting point and many more leafs will be turned over in this comprehensive review.

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