Attorney Report Finds Mitsubishi Did Lie About Vehicle Mileage


Mitsubishi Motors Corp. asked a group of attorneys to look at claims of mileage cheating that involved the Japanese automaker. What they found is that the company had set unrealistic goals that employees couldn’t say no to.

In April, the Tokyo-based automaker said it had falsified its mileage information on its eK Space minicars and eK wagons that Nissan Motor Co. produced. The panel found that this falsifying of information has gone on for more than 20 years, and it was done systematically and extensively. And, it only increased as time went on.

The investigation involves interviews from over 150 people, and it uncovered the issue that the company had no system in place to keep eyes on the team that was hired to better mileage. According to the company, employees felt no obligation to obey the law or repair the problems – each department felt concerned by its own performance.

The 37-page report said the company employees did not feel they had to work as a team to create and sell the cars.

The government had previously found Mitsubishi had lied about the mileage on its vehicles by 16 percent.

Mitsubishi Motors, which creates the i-MiFV and the Outlander SUV, has years of consumer confidence problems after the early 2000s cover-ups issues that included faulty clutches, failing brakes, and faulty fuel tanks.

Panel members said, although they’ve made recommendations, they don’t think the company will follow them as they haven’t in the past.

After the public announcement had been made about the issue, Nissan said it took a more than 30 percent stake in Mitsubishi to assist in its recovery. The scandal only came to light after Nissan, which had sold Mitsubishi minicars under its name, carried out its own tests and found the data discrepancies.

According to Mitsubishi, it never lied about its models’ mileage for those sold overseas, but it was offering a cash rebate to Japanese customers who purchased the vehicle where it had inflated the mileage to cover the additional cost of gas.

Osamu Masuko, chairman for Mitsubishi and who helped finalize the deal with Nissan, said he would find out who the managers were responsible for the cheating and penalize them. He also apologized to the public and said it’s a new beginning for the company has a vehicle manufacturer.

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