Mitsubishi Motors halts some SUV sales in Japan as MPG scandal grows

Mitsubishi's fuel-economy scandal is going from bad to worse. First, the Japanese automaker claimed it lied about the fuel economy for a few kei cars, then it claimed fuel economy tests for as far back as 1991 could reveal mile-per-gallon figures that were tampered with. In May the automaker, admitted that every single vehicle it's sold in Japan could be affected by the fuel-economy scandal. Now, the Japanese automaker revealed that more of its vehicles were involved in the fuel-economy cheating scandal – and one of them is sold in the US.

After completing its investigation into the automaker's fuel-economy scandal, Japan's Transport Ministry found that Mitsubishi overstated the fuel economy for eight more vehicles in marketing brochures, one of which is sold as the Outlander Sport in the US, reports Automotive News. The Transport Ministry ordered Mitsubishi to stop domestic sales of the models, which include the Pajero, Outlander, and RVR SUV (known as the Outlander Sport in the US). The latest finding adds to four kei cars that were previously noted for having overstated fuel economy figures earlier this year.

Japan's sixth-largest automaker is having a hard time recuperating since the scandal broke earlier this April. The initial scandal led to the automaker suspending its sales, which caused a large dip in the automaker's market value. The scandal required Mitsubishi to seek financial assistance from Nissan, which agreed to buy a controlling 34-percent stake for $2.2 billion.

Investigators hired by Mitsubishi to look into the automaker's overstated fuel economy figures revealed the company's "corporate culture" as the issue. More specifically, the investigators founds the company's pressure to improve fuel-efficiency figures, a lack of unity between divisions, and an unwillingness to accept fuel economy shortfalls as the reason for falsifying its vehicles' mpg figures.

Mitsubishi is expected to compensate Japanese owners for the overstated fuel economy figures, which would result in a massive loss for the automaker. The company is expected to post a net loss of roughly $1.4 billion this year, pushing Mitsubishi into the red for the first time in approximately eight years.

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