Emissionsgate Continues with Mitsubishi Admission

The scandal over vehicle emissions which was kick started last year by the uncovering of foul play by VW continues to roll on, with the pool of guilty parties expanding to include Japanese manufacturer Mitsubishi.

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The value of the firm dropped by 15 per cent after it admitted to having used some misleading tactics in order to improve the apparent fuel efficiency of four models during economy testing.

And while this impacts an estimate 625,000 cars sold by Mitsubishi, company spokesperson Lance Bradley confirmed that none of the impacted models have entered the UK marketplace.

Questionable Ethics

Interestingly the uncovering of Mitsubishi’s unethical behaviour came as a result of a complaint made by Nissan, since the majority of the vehicles which are implicated in the scandal were built for it by its domestic competitor.

After some internal investigation work, Mitsubishi concluded that tire pressures had been altered during tests to determine the fuel economy of certain models sold only in Japan, making it look like they were more efficient as a result.

Company president Tetsuro Aikawa said that he was not aware of this doctoring of test results, nor confident he understood the reasons that those responsible resorted to cheating.

International Impact

While this scandal is localised to the Japanese car market, the global reputation of Mitsubishi will certainly suffer as a result.

In the UK just under one per cent of all cars sold last year were made by Mitsubishi and it is something of a small player compared with better established brands. But since Nissan-badged vehicles are involved in this scandal, the fallout could still be significant.

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Buyers looking to make use of financial assistance which offer car finance for bad credit might think twice before buying a Mitsubishi, since more test data manipulation might be uncovered.

While the initial hardships that Mitsubishi is facing might pose a problem in the short term, the long term prospects for the firm could be seen in an optimistic light, especially since the Volkswagen Group announced that although European sales have slowed slightly, it is benefitting from significant growth in China. The strength of an automaker’s brand plays a big part in how easily it can shrug off scandals and Mitsubishi should still hold a lot of cache with its target audience.

Author: Kei Taylor

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