Mitsubishi Motors has admitted it deliberately altered testing data to show better fuel consumption rates for four of its mini-car models sold in Japan.
Japan’s sixth-largest automaker said it will halt production and sales of the four affected models, including two supplied to Nissan. The four models are the ek Wagon, eK Space, Dayz and Dayz Roox, involving about 625,000 vehicles.
“We offer our deepest apology,” president Tetsuro Aikawa said at a packed news conference. “We will get to the bottom of why this misconduct was carried out.”
The company will set up a committee to look into the issue consisting of outside experts, he added.
An internal investigation, triggered by questions raised by Nissan, found that the company’s testing method did not comply with requirements under Japanese law.
Mitsubishi Motors said the improper testing method was carried out for vehicles sold in Japan, and that it will also investigate cars sold in overseas markets.
Shares in Mitsubishi Motors fell the most in more than a decade on Wednesday, dropping 15 per cent after the Japanese carmaker called the press conference.
The global auto industry has been rocked by scandals over the past two years, first with the mass recalls prompted by concerns over airbags made by Japanese firm Takata, and subsequently by Volkswagen’s admission last year that it had cheated US emissions tests.