Mitsubishi now says that its cheating on Japanese fuel economy tests stretches as far back as 1991. The automaker has hired an independent panel of investigators to get to the bottom of what happened, and the company will give them three months to prepare a report about the deception.

Mitsubishi's cheat involves how the company calculated driving resistance to determine fuel economy. In 1991, Japan's Road Transport Vehicle Act established a coasting test to establish the driving resistance, but Mitsubishi's engineers used their own "high-speed coasting test," according to its statement. In 2007, the company decided to only use the country's mandated evaluation, but the employees kept utilizing the high-speed test in the field. In the most recent scandal, workers selected low values for driving resistance from the results, which made the fuel economy look better.

Mitsubishi's presented these details in a report to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism. "We are currently investigating the reasoning behind each of the decisions," the company said in a statement. It also hired three former prosecutors to figure out why this happened for so long. At this time, Mitsubishi only confirms the incorrect figures for some of the company's minicars, but this investigation could discover more transgressions.

This fiasco started when Nissan discovered fuel economy discrepancies in some of its Mitsubishi-made tiny kei-class cars in Japan. Mitsubishi came clean and admitted the problem affected about 625,000 vehicles in the country. Japanese media have alleged more vehicles have incorrect mileage, including the Outlander. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the US has also requested data from the Japanese automaker to confirm similar deceptions didn't happen for vehicles here.

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Regarding the Report to MLIT Concerning Improper Conduct in Fuel Consumption Testing of Vehicles Manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation

Tokyo, April 26, 2016

The following is a summary of the report submitted by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) today, pursuant to instructions received from MLIT on April 20 to investigate improper conduct in fuel consumption testing of vehicles manufactured by MMC.

Report Summary

1.
Background to the improper conduct of MMC mini-car fuel consumption testing data
(1)
Four grades of the model year 2014 eK Wagon and Dayz (submitted in February 2013) were produced—a fuel-economy grade, a standard grade, a turbo grade and a 4WD grade. During development of the fuel-economy grade, the fuel consumption target, which had initially been 26.4km/l (in February 2011), was revised upward over a series of internal meetings until finally being set at 29.2km/l (February 2013).
(2)
Driving resistance data were obtained for that fuel-economy grade using a "high-speed coasting test," which differed from the coasting test required by the applicable laws and regulations in Japan. A relatively low value was selected from among the test results for use as the driving resistance value in order to give the appearance of greater fuel consumption. Data for the remaining three grades were calculated without testing based on the data for the fuel-economy grade.
(3)
The data submitted for the model year 2014 eK Space and Dayz Roox (submitted in October 2013), the model year 2015 eK Wagon and Dayz (submitted in March 2014), the model year 2015 eK Space and Dayz Roox (submitted in December 2014), and the model year 2016 eK Wagon and Dayz (submitted in June 2015) were all calculated without testing based on the data for the model year 2014 eK Wagon and Dayz to achieve the fuel consumption targets.

2.
The following is the timeline leading up to the use of the "high-speed coasting test" differing from the test required by the applicable laws and regulations in Japan. We are currently investigating the reasoning behind each of the decisions outlined below.
(1)
In 1991, the coasting test was designated as the method for testing driving resistance under the Road Transport Vehicle Act, but MMC began testing vehicles for the Japanese market using a different method, the "high-speed coasting test".
(2)
In January 1992, a method was developed to reverse-calculate coasting time using driving resistance.
(3)
In January 2001, a test was run that compared the coasting test to the "high-speed coasting test," and the difference in results was found never to exceed 2.3%.
(4)
In February 2007, the testing manual was updated to add that "TRIAS (i.e., the coasting test) is to be used for DOM (i.e., vehicles for sale in Japan)." Nevertheless, the "high-speed coasting test" continued to be used thereafter.

3.
Future direction of investigations
(1)
While some progress has been made in investigating the events described in sections 1 and 2 above, we will continue to work to discover the causes of this improper conduct and who is responsible.
(2)
Sufficient investigation has not been made into MMC vehicles other than the mini-cars described above; we plan to submit a separate report after looking into those models.


Establishment of Special Investigation Committee

Tokyo, April 26, 2016

In connection with the certification process for the mini-cars manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation ("MMC"), MMC hereby notifies that, yesterday, the board of directors decided to establish a special investigation committee (the "Committee") consisting of only external experts.

MMC expresses its most sincere apologies to all of our customers, shareholders, and stakeholders for any inconvenience or concern caused by this occasion.

1 Background for the establishment of the Committee

As announced, on April 20, 2016, in the press release titled "Improper conduct in fuel consumption testing on products manufactured by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC)," it has been revealed that, in the certification process for mini-cars manufactured by MMC, with respect to the fuel consumption testing data submitted to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism, MMC conducted testing improperly, to present better fuel consumption rates than the actual rates; and that the testing method was also different from the one required by Japanese law (the "Matter"). For the sake of ensuring an objective and thorough investigation into the Matter, MMC has established this Committee in a way such that all members would be external experts independent from MMC.

2 Membership and activities of the Committee

i Membership of the Committee

The Committee is composed of the members, as follows, who have no conflicts of interest with MMC. Therefore, MMC has recognized no factor that would harm the independence and neutrality of the Committee. Further, MMC is considering appointing experts with technical knowledge to participate in the investigation.

Committee Chair: Keiichi WATANABE, Attorney at Law
(former Superintending Prosecutor, Tokyo High Prosecutors Office)
Committee Member: Yoshiro SAKATA, Attorney at Law
Committee Member: Genta YOSHINO, Attorney at Law

ii Activities

The Committee shall perform the following activities pursuant to MMC's delegation.

I
Investigation to uncover the facts surrounding the Matter, including review of related documents and data, and interviews with the related people.
II
Investigation to confirm the existence of other improper conduct similar to the Matter, and uncover the facts, if it does.
III
Analysis of the cause of the Matter, and a suggestion on measures to prevent recurrence.

3 Schedule moving forward

The Committee shall investigate the Matter for about the next three months, and make a report on its results. MMC plans to disclose the report in a timely manner.

(For Reference) Profiles of the special investigate committee members:
Name
Career
Keiichi WATANABE
April 1978
January 2007
October 2011
October 2012
July 2014
December 2015
March 2016
Public Prosecutor
Chief Prosecutor, Otsu District Public Prosecutors Office
Chief Prosecutor, Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office
Deputy Prosecutor-General Supreme Public Prosecutors Office
Superintending Prosecutor, Tokyo High Prosecutors Office
Retired
Registered as Attorney at Law
(Ginza Chuo Law Office)
Yoshiro SAKATA
April 1991
October 2010
Public Prosecutor
Registered as Attorney at Law
(Sakata Law Office LPC)
Genta YOSHINO
April 2000
April 2016
Public Prosecutor
Registered as Attorney at Law
(Nozomi Sogo Attorneys at Law)

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