Mitsubishi president to resign over fuel economy scandal, report says

Mitsubishi XR-PHEV II concept
The president of Mitsubishi Motors is stepping down after the company’s admission that it cheated on fuel economy tests in Japan, a new report claims. The news comes hot on the heels of Nissan’s announcement that it would purchase a controlling stake in the beleaguered carmaker.

Current president Tetsuro Aikawa’s post will be filled by Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko, according to the Nikkei Asian Review (via Automotive News). Masuko will reportedly handle presidential responsibilities until Nissan’s purchase of a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi is finalized. A longer-term management change could result from the impending Nissan takeover.

Aikawa “has roots” in Mitsubishi’s product development unit, according to the Nikkei report. He is reportedly taking the blame for the scandal because the scheme to cheat on fuel economy tests originated in that division. Mitsubishi used its own testing procedures on certain models for years, yielding higher fuel economy results than would have been achieved with the testing methods mandated by the Japanese government.

Read more: GM misstates fuel economy on SUV window stickers

Mitsubishi employed a “high-speed coasting test” that produced a more favorable calculation for air resistance, which is factored into fuel economy tests. The company claims it ordered employees to stop using the illegal method in 2007, but that they continued anyway. It also claims the difference between the two testing procedures never exceeded 2.3 percent, although fuel economy ratings were reported to be as much as 5 to 10 percent higher than they should have been.

The issue was brought to light by Nissan, which sold 468,000 of the estimated 620,000 cars confirmed to have inflated fuel economy ratings under its own brand name. All models are small “kei” cars sold only in Japan. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration subsequently requested information on fuel economy testing from Mitsubishi. The company says all of its 2013 through 2017 models comply with U.S. standards.

Last week, Nissan announced it would pay $2.17 billion for a 34-percent stake in Mitsubishi. Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan and partner Renault, said the intention is to help Mitsubishi overcome the fuel economy scandal and incorporate it into the Renault Nissan Alliance. While Mitsubishi has lost its independence, it’s likely gained a future. The carmaker was in dire straits even before the scandal hit, with a small, aging lineup and no real prospects for growth.

Cars

Peloton’s tech lets truckers play follow the leader to boost fuel economy

Peloton Technology can help semi trucks save fuel by running close together on the highway. Using short-range wireless communications, the trucks get a kind of super cruise control.
Cars

Worried about commuting in winter weather? Nissan has the answer

The Nissan Altima midsize sedan is now available with all-wheel drive. To advertise that fact, Nissan's Canadian division slapped some tank-like tracks on an Altima to create a one-off show car.
Music

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.
Cars

With 341 horsepower, the WRX STI S209 is the most powerful Subaru ever

The Subaru WRX STI S209 is the latest in a series of special editions that have never been sold in the United States before. The 341-horsepower pocket rocket debuts at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show.
Cars

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
Cars

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.
News

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.
Cars

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.
Cars

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.
Cars

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.