Skip to main content

More Mitsubishi models are found to have exaggerated fuel-economy ratings

2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Earlier this year, Mitsubishi admitted to cheating on fuel economy tests in Japan. Now, the Japanese government is ordering the carmaker to stop sales of additional models because of overstated fuel economy.

Japan’s transport ministry ordered Mitsubishi to stop selling eight models after an investigation showed that they returned lower fuel economy than advertised, reports Automotive News (subscription required). Investigators found that fuel economy on these models averaged 4.2 percent lower than what Mitsubishi told consumers, and as much as 8.8 percent lower in some cases.

The affected models include versions of the Pajero, Outlander, and RVR (sold as the Outlander Sport in the U.S.) SUVs. That’s in addition to the four models Mitsubishi admitted to overstating fuel economy on when news of the scandal broke back in April. That group included some cars manufactured by Mitsubishi for sale by Nissan, which purchased a controlling interest in the embattled carmaker in the wake of the scandal.

Read more: Volkswagen and U.S. dealers reach proposed settlement

While the first four models were all small “kei” cars sold only in Japan, this latest batch includes models that are sold in the U.S. The sales halt only applies to cars sold in Japan, though, and U.S. regulators have yet to find any issues with Mitsubishi’s reporting of fuel economy on models sold here.

Mitsubishi has said it used different testing procedures than the ones spelled out in government regulations as far back as 1991. These unapproved testing practices produced higher fuel-economy figures than the ones Mitsubishi was supposed to use. An internal investigation attributed the decision to cheat to pressure on resource-starved engineers to produce good results, lack of communication, and other issues.

As with Volkswagen and its diesel cars, Mitsubishi is expected to compensate Japanese owners for fuel-economy overstatements. That is expected to put significant financial pressure on the carmaker, which has already seen sales tank in the wake of the scandal. Mitsubishi expects to post a net loss of $1.4 billion this year, pushing it into the red for the first time in eight years.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Mitsubishi says it didn’t cheat on U.S. fuel economy tests
2016 Mitsubishi Outlander

Mitsubishi is in hot water for overstating fuel economy on 620,000 cars sold in Japan over the last three years. But the company says its U.S. models are not involved, citing its own internal investigation.

"Our findings confirm that fuel economy testing data for these U.S. market vehicles is accurate and complies with established EPA procedures," a Mitsubishi statement said. The company checked data submitted to the EPA for model years 2013 through 2017, and claims it found no evidence of the tweaked testing procedures its Japanese arm used.

Read more
Mitsubishi woes keep mounting as fuel mileage cheating news cuts sales in half
2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

To say that Mitsubishi Motors is in trouble is a vast understatement. Yesterday, the fuel-mileage statement cheating company stated that vehicle orders in Japan have been cut in half, according to Reuters. The news is likely to get worse soon. Questions are even being raised about whether Mitsubishi will stay in business.

Last week Mitsubishi revealed it had cheated on Japanese fuel economy tests for three years. This week the company admitted the practice had been going on for 25 years. In the first announcement Mitsubishi claimed the fuel consumption cheating only applied to a few models, but now it admits more models were involved, including some mini cars it manufactured for other companies. We can imagine this admission is losing fans among with their peer car companies.

Read more
Cheat Sheet: Mitsubishi explains how it scammed fuel economy tests
Mitsubishi eK Wagon

Mitsubishi announced last week that it overstated fuel economy on 620,000 small cars sold in Japan. The company said this deception was "intentional," but didn't elaborate at the time. Now, it says the cheating can be traced back to Japanese testing rules instituted in 1991.

That's when the Japanese government issued rules for a "coasting test" to determine the air resistance of a vehicle. This is important because fuel economy testing takes place in a laboratory, with cars strapped to a device called a dynamometer that allows them to drive in place. A calculated figure for air resistance has to be factored back in, and Mitsubishi now says it used an alternate method to determine that figure rather than the one called for in the rules.

Read more