Help, I’m a Mitsubishi owner! Fuel economy cheating scandal explained

  • Mitsubishi admits rigging fuel economy tests
  • Only Japanese domestic models affected
  • We explain why UK owners don’t need to worry

Mitsubishi this week admitted it had cheated fuel economy tests in Japan – bringing car manufacturers’ official efficiency claims into further disrepute.

The industry is already reeling from the fall-out from the Volkswagen scandal, where the German car-making giant cheated emissions tests on 11 million cars sold globally, including 1.1m in the UK.

However, the Mitsubishi revelations affect only domestic market cars sold in Japan.

How Mitsubishi cheated fuel economy figures

The car maker has revealed it falsely manipulated mpg figures conducted by the Japanese authorities on more than 600,000 cars, including some it manufactures for rival company Nissan.

Models affected are 157,000 of the Mitsubishi eK Wagon and eK Space city cars, plus 468,000 Nissan Dayz and Roox models. All are so-called Kei-cars, or micro cars, given special tax status in Japan on account of their small dimensions and tiny engines. They are not sold in Britain.

Bosses admitted that the company had massaged tyre pressures to make them perform better in official tests conducted by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).

‘The wrongdoing was intentional,’ president Tetsuro Aikawa admitted to reporters in Tokyo. ‘It is clear the falsification was done to make the mileage look better. But why they would resort to fraud to do this is still unclear.’

Will this scandal affect British Mitsubishis?

It seems not. The only cars affected are the cars listed above and they’re not available in UK dealerships.

UK managing director Lance Bradley said: ‘Mitsubishi Motors Corporation has acted quickly and decisively. We understand that such issues are of great concern to consumers. I would like to reassure everyone that there is no evidence to suggest that UK or European models are affected.’