Mitsubishi Under Investigation At The Worst Time

Industry News / Comments

Suspected illegal defeat devices? Really?

It wasn't so long ago when Mitsubishi was near collapse. Then Carlos Ghosn, now former CEO of the Renault-Nissan alliance, bought a chunk of the struggling Japanese automaker in order to incorporate into that alliance. Mitsubishi's future finally seemed secure.

However, according to Reuters, German prosecutors are investigating Mitsubishi over suspected use of illegal defeat devices installed in its diesel engines. Although none of the company's US market vehicles, such as the Mitsubishi Outlander and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross, are offered with diesel units, several other overseas-only vehicles are. The engines in question are the 1.6-liter and 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesels. Prosecutors also claim they are investigating an individual staff member of an international automaker for fraud, a unit of an international car dealership company, and two automaker suppliers.

2019-2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Front View Driving Mitsubishi
2019-2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Rear Angle View Mitsubishi
2019-2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Dashboard Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi confirmed its German distributor and its European R&D facilities were the targets of the investigation. "No further information is available at that stage. Mitsubishi Motors will, of course, collaborate and contribute to this investigation," the company said. German auto supplier Continental is one of the two suppliers involved but the second currently remains unknown.

So-called defeat devices were unheard of until 2015 when Volkswagen admitted it rigged engine software with those devices in order to cheat US diesel emission tests. The German automaker immediately became the subject of multiple other investigations. It ultimately paid billions of dollars and euros in fines as part of settlement agreements. Customer vehicle buyback programs were also initiated.

Become A Better Driver With This Must-Have Gadget
Become A Better Driver With This Must-Have Gadget
History Of Audi's Greatest RS Models
History Of Audi's Greatest RS Models
2016-2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Front Angle View Mitsubishi
2016-2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Rear Angle View Mitsubishi
2016-2020 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport Dashboard Mitsubishi

Other automakers, such as Daimler and FCA, were also investigated for diesel emissions cheating and they too agreed to expensive settlements. At this stage, it's too early to know what will ultimately happen to Mitsubishi, but it certainly has a potentially serious problem. How this will affect Mitsubishi at a global level remains uncertain.

2018-2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Front Angle View Mitsubishi
2018-2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Side View Driving Mitsubishi
2018-2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Rear Angle View Mitsubishi
2018-2020 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross Dashboard Mitsubishi

Join The Discussion