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Improper Data may have been used for More Models, Mitsubishi Motors says

Improper Data may have been used for More Models, Mitsubishi Motors says
In addition to those it has already disclosed, improper data for mileage calculations might have been used for other models, the Japanese auto company Mitsubishi Motors Corp said on Wednesday.
Overstating of the fuel economy readings in four of its mini-vehicle models was admitted to by the Japanese carmaker last month.
It suspected improper data was used for models among the nine current ones on the market as well as models it no longer sells, the company said in its latest statement.
Mitsubishi said it was investigating the matter and it also added that the financial resources to deal with the issue as a whole were also available with it.
After officials found more irregularities with its vehicles following a raid on the company's research facilities last month, Mitsubishi Motors earlier in the day submitted an additional explanation to Japan's transport ministry.
To compensate Japanese mini-vehicle customers for 'eco-car' tax breaks and extra fuel costs Mitsubishi may have to pay close to $1 billion, analysts have estimated.
15 years ago Mitsubishi Motors had admitted to systematically covering up customer complaints for more than two decades. The present misconduct and the ensuing scandal have revived memories of the scandal from 15 years ago. The last time – 15 years ago, the brand image of the company had weakened and had to take help of a major bailout from other Mitsubishi Group companies in 2004 after which it continued to be plagued by recall and quality issues as it was unable to recover on its own.
Even as the company conceded to the new possibilities, the Asahi newspaper reported on Tuesday that Mitsubishi Motors Corp used improper mileage tests on almost all its vehicles sold in Japan since 1991. This has also raised the possibility that the practice was widespread at the Japanese automaker.
Without identifying its sources the newspaper said that non-compliant tests were used on dozens of Mitsubishi models sold in the past 25 years, including the Pajero SUV and the Lancer sedan.
Rather than Japanese standards, where more prevalent city driving consumes more fuel, standards approved in the United States, where higher-speed, highway driving is common was used for fuel economy tests on some vehicles by the company as the automaker admitted to doing this since 1991.
The U.S. testing method may have been used as it is shorter and would save time, Mitsubishi officials have said.
Investigations for its use of non-compliant data and the falsified mileage data are being conducted by the Transport Ministry in Japan against Mitsubishi Motors. It has ordered Mitsubishi to submit information on the issue by Wednesday.
It would not tolerate the use of non-compliant data even though the different methodology was unlikely to have a big impact on fuel economy readings, the newspaper cited a Transport Ministry source as saying.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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