After Volkswagen with its diesel engines, and Nokian with its tires, it’s now Mitsubishi’s turn to plead guilty to cheating in fuel economy tests for four of its models, Automotive News reports.
There are roughly 625,000 vehicles affected, and most of them were supplied by Mitsubishi to Nissan, which discovered the fraudulent manipulation. The two companies are now discussing some form of compensation.
An investigation will be conducted to see whether other vehicles were rigged for overseas markets.
How exactly did Mitsubishi cheat? It reportedly altered the load placed on the tires in order to make the cars’ fuel economy performance appear better.
According to Reuters, Mitsubishi’s stock fell 15% after the announcement ― its largest drop in 12 years. The Japanese automaker told the media that it will stop manufacturing the affected models including microcars like the Mitsubishi eK and Nissan Dayz.
All of this cheating by car companies in fuel economy and emissions tests will seriously impact consumers’ trust in the auto industry. On the other hand, EV makers might very well benefit from these scandals, like Tesla whose newly unveiled Model 3 is generating a mind-blowing number of pre-orders so far. Time will tell how many car buyers make the permanent move from combustion engines to electric motors.