Mitsubishi says overstated mileage for more vehicle models

Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:56am EDT
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By Naomi Tajitsu

TOKYO (Reuters) - Mitsubishi Motors Corp said on Tuesday more of its vehicle models were involved in a mileage cheating scandal than initially stated, and that it would temporarily stop domestic sales of affected vehicles and compensate owners.

Earlier in the day, Japan's transport ministry said its investigation had shown the automaker had overstated the fuel economy for eight vehicles including the RVR, Pajero and Outlander SUV models, in addition to four minivehicles initially confirmed in April.

The latest announcement deals another reputational blow to Japan's sixth-largest automaker, which has been struggling to recover from the mileage scandal, which affected two minivehicle models produced for Nissan Motor Co Ltd.

The company's market value has tumbled since the scandal broke, and the ordeal prompted the company to seek financial assistance from Nissan, which agreed to buy a controlling one-third stake for $2.2 billion.

Mitsubishi said it had submitted new mileage readings to the ministry earlier in the day, after the ministry's probe had shown the fuel economy for some models was as much as 8.8 percent lower than stated in marketing catalogues.

"Both competition and compliance have tightened in the industry, but we had a lax approach to compliance and this was one of the factors which led to this issue," Mitsubishi Motors President Masuko Osamu said at a briefing.

"We need to change this."

Mitsubishi said it would pay compensation of up to 100,000 yen ($977) each to roughly 76,000 owners in Japan. This would amount to an extraordinary loss of 7 billion yen, although the company said the amount would be covered in the expected extraordinary loss of 205 billion yen for this year.   Continued...

Mitsubishi Motors Corp's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Osamu Masuko (L) and Head of Research and Development Mitsuhiko Yamashita bow their heads to apologize over the company's mileage scandal at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan August 30, 2016.  REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon