Mitsubishi Motors plant raided over fuel economy tests

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Tokyo, April 21 (IANS) Japanese officials on Thursday raided an office of Mitsubishi Motors following the revelation that the carmaker had falsified fuel efficiency data for more than 600,000 cars sold in the country.

The ministry of land, infrastructure, transport and tourism carried out the latest search on Thursday, following an initial on Wednesday, with Mitsubishi Motors Corp. likely to be punished by the ministry for allowing its employees to manipulate data related to fuel economy on more than 600,000 mini-vehicles, Xinhua news agency reported.

Out of a total of 625,000 cars sold under false fuel efficiency pretenses, 468,000 were supplied to Nissan Motor Co. with the transport ministry demanding Mitsubishi Motors to produce the falsified documents before April 27.

The models affected include the ek Wagon and eK Space city cars, as well as Nissan’s Dayz and Dayz Roox.

Ministry officials said they were seeking to determine exactly how the employees falsified the data, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga saying the government “will respond strictly” to the case.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp., headquartered in Tokyo, has said that it will try to atone for its fraudulent practice by paying additional fuel costs incurred by customers who bought the affected models, with industry insiders saying the case could cost the embattled firm some 50 billion yen (%456 millionllars) in damages to customers and compensation payments to Nissan.

The government is mulling slapping its own administrative sanctions on Mitsubishi Motors, sources said, following the company releasing false data claiming some of its mini-vehicles were as much as 10 percent more fuel efficient than was the case.

Other automakers who have had dealings with Mitsubishi Motors, in addition to Nissan, are also being asked by the transport ministry to check the actual fuel economy of their vehicles as compared to documented claims made by Mitsubishi Motors.

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