Mitsubishi's central Japan plant investigated after false mileage data scandal

Officials are investigating Mitsubishi Motors Corp. after the company said it had found employees manipulated fuel efficiency data of more than 620,000 light vehicles it manufactured.

On Wednesday, the company said employees had intentionally falsified fuel mileage data for several vehicle models.

Local media reports showed investigators from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism entering offices of the company's assembly plant in central Japan's Nagoya on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the company apologized for what it said was intentional falsification of mileage test data that falsely boosted fuel economy by about 5 per cent to 10 per cent.


Mitsubishi's 'mini cars,' like its eK Wagon, were marketed mainly for their good mileage. (Toru Hanai/Reuters)

Trading in Mitsubishi Motors' shares halted before the close on Thursday after the shares fell more than 20 per cent.

The inaccurate tests by the Tokyo-based automaker involved its 157,000 of its own-brand eK wagon and eK Space light passenger cars, and 468,000 Dayz and Dayz Roox vehicles produced for Nissan Motor Co. The so-called "minicars" have tiny engines whose main attraction is generally great mileage. They were produced from March 2013.

Mitsubishi was reporting mileage of up to 30.4 kilometres per litre.

The scandal adds to the list of cases involving automakers inflating fuel mileage or providing faulty emissions data. It surfaced after Nissan pointed out inconsistencies in data, Mitsubishi said. Mitsubishi Motors conducted an internal probe and found that tire pressure data was falsified to make mileage appear better than it actually was.

Mitsubishi Motors was tarnished by a massive recall coverup of safety defects 15 years ago.

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