Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) today admitted that its employees falsified fuel efficiency data for four mini-car models. MMC President Tetsuro Aikiwa noted that the falsification was intentional. The affected models are eK Wagon, eK Space, Dayz and Dayz Roox. The latter two were produced for Nissan and sold under the Nissan brand.
The negative commercial implications for MMC appear to be limited to the Japanese market, as the models were sold in Japan. MMC said it had stopped manufacturing these models and is in discussion with Nissan on compensation. However, the controversy once again puts the spotlight on the beleaguered automobile sector, which has been rocked by numerous quality issues in the last seven years.
The industry’s infamy :
- Gas pedal defect in Toyota cars leading to more than 7 million cars recalled between 2009 and 2011.
- Ignition switch problems in GM cars, leading to more than 100 fatalities in the US. And GM engineers knew about these problems for more than 10 years, but the company failed to address them. GM has been in hot water since 2014.
- Takata air bag defects ensnares the largest car companies in the biggest industry-wide recall in history in 2015.
- Volkwagen admits to manipulating carbon emissions testing in the US in September 2015, triggering investigations into other European car makers.
With the traditional cars facing a crisis in public trust, the controversies are likely to fuel interest in electric cars and self-driving cars.