Do American owners have something to worry about?
Yesterday a new scandal in the auto industry became known. Mitsubishi admitted that it manipulated test data "involving 625,000 of its vehicles in order to improve fuel economy claims." This was done by altering the load placed on the cars' tires, thus resulting in supposedly better fuel economy. Mitsubishi is very sorry for that and promises to make things right not only with consumers, but also with Nissan. Why Nissan?
Because some of those vehicles were supplied to its fellow Japanese automaker as part of a previous deal. We didn't know which exact models were affected by this manipulation yesterday, but we do today. There are four in total, two wearing a Mitsubishi badge, the other two a Nissan: the Mitsubishi ek Wagon and ek Space, and the Nissan Dayz and Dayz Roox. Of the 625,000 affected cars, 157,000 are Mitsubishis and the rest are Nissans. In case you haven't guessed, these are Japanese market Kei cars, essentially mini cars. Mitsubishi is still working to determine whether other models sold outside of Japan are affected by these cooked fuel economy claims as well.
In the meantime, Mitsubishi shares plunged 15 percent yesterday and will likely continue doing so. Just when Mitsubishi North America proudly claimed it was profitable, its home office really screwed things up.