Mitsubishi has admitted to "improper conduct in fuel consumption testing" of engines fitted to a total of 625,000 cars. The company has released a statement which explains that its staff "conducted testing improperly to present better fuel consumption rates than the actual rates", adding that "the testing method was also different from the one required by Japanese law".
The company says that the improper testing effects two of its own models (the eK Wagon and eK Space) as well as two models that it built and supplied to Nissan (the Dayz and Dayz Roox). Mitsubishi sold 157,000 of its own cars and Nissan 468,000, meaning that a total of 625,000 cars are included in the scandal.
Bloomberg writes that the tests failed to place the correct load -- more accurately, the running resistance, according to Mitsubishi -- on the car during tests. In turn, that made fuel efficiency of the cars look more impressive than the reality. Mitsubishi explains that Nissan asked it to review the tests, and only during that internal investigation did it learn of the improper conduct.
Nissans has stopped selling the models in question, while Mitsubishi plans to "discuss compensation regarding this issue" and "conduct an investigation into products manufactured for overseas markets". Meanwhile, its stock price has fallen 15 per cent, according to the Wall Street Journal.
There are, of course, echoes of Volkswagens's emissions cheating here -- though that affected 11 million cars in total. We'll have to wait and see what kind of long-term damage the news will cause to Mitsubishi.