Employee warned Mitsubishi execs about mileage cheating in 2005

But the company's leadership denies any knowledge of the comments.

A damning report from the committee brought in to investigate Mitsubishi's alleged fuel economy fixing scandal has revealed a new employee stepped forward and implored the company to play it straight on its mileage data... Eleven years ago.

The employee, identified in the report as F, pushed for honesty during a company workshop in February 2005, The Asahi Shimbun reports. The then-new worker told 20 company officials, including senior members of the performance testing department, that the way Mitsubishi measured fuel economy was different from the way government's method. Instead of acting on F's protests, officials said they had no memory of them, the report claims. The four-person committee, made up of lawyers and industry experts, isn't buying the excuse.

"It is difficult to accept their explanations that they have no recollections because a new employee pointing out such a problem must have had a (strong) impact," the report read.

But F's comments weren't the only internal sign that Mitsubishi allegedly ignored. In a 2011 questionnaire, multiple employees submitted responses claiming that the company had been falsifying data. But according to the committee's report, Mitsubishi's development department issued a report denying there was even a problem, which the company's execs accepted without question.

According to The Asahi Shimbun, Mitsubishi CEO Osamu Masuko revealed that an internal investigation – which also denied F's remarks – acknowledged that the company hadn't followed government rules regarding fuel economy measurements since 1991.

"We lacked unity needed to detect problems within the company and to solve them," Masuko-san said, backing up the committee report's claim that the company was divided. "From now on, we need to decide how to change our way of thinking."

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