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Suzuki's mileage road test mistakes prompt government investigation

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In yet another story about car manufacturer errors in mileage testing. Suzuki Motor Corporation has admitted to and apologized for using incorrect mileage road tests, according to the Associated Press. The company also said that only cars sold in Japan used the improper road tests. The firm asserts that even with the wrong tests, the original mileage ratings weren’t incorrect, and claims that it didn’t cheat on fuel consumption statements.

After the recent Mitsubishi Motors admission that it had cheated on mileage numbers for years for at least four of its smallest cars, the Japanese government ordered all car manufacturers in the country to confirm they were testing correctly for fuel consumption. Suzuki said when the company retested its cars using the proper road tests the mileage ratings did not change. The transport ministry announced later that only Mitsubishi and Suzuki used the wrong tests, according to Reuters.

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Appearing at the transport ministry, Suzuki Chairman and Chief Executive Osamu Suzuki, president Toshihiro Suzuki, and vice president Osamu Honda bowed in acknowledgement of the error during a press conference.

The fallout from the Mitsubishi Motors admissions has been significant. Mitsubishi President Testuro Aikawa, who denies any personal involvement in the fuel misstatements, has announced that while he will stay in office through the investigation of the cheating, he will subsequently resign. Nissan Chief Carlos Ghosn has announced it is buying 34 percent of Mitsubishi, considering the $2.2 billion cost a bargain since the company’s stock has dropped 40 percent since the news of the fuel cheating was made public.

The fact that Suzuki’s subsequent road tests resulted in the same fuel consumption numbers the company obtained with the wrong tests does not mitigate the testing error. The transport ministry is investigating what and why the wrong tests were used in the first place. Suzuki has until May 31 to provide more information.

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