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Mitsubishi probed for cheating diesel emissions

Smoke screen: Mitsubishi vehicles sold since 2014 with Euro 5 and Euro 6 versions of its 1.6-litre and 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engines are under investigation for potential emissions cheating.

Police raid Mitsubishi Motors offices across Germany over alleged emissions cheating

22 Jan 2020

MITSUBISHI Motors has been added to the list of carmakers being investigated over potential emissions test cheating, revolving around its 1.6-litre and 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engines used in European-market vehicles.


The Japanese company’s Australian arm, Mitsubishi Motors Australia Limited (MMAL) today issued a statement saying it is awaiting confirmation of whether the probe into potential defeat devices – as per the Volkswagen Group ‘dieselgate’ scandal – embroils engines used in this and other markets.


According to Automotive News Europe, the German public prosecutor is investigating Euro 5 and Euro 6 versions of the two four-cylinder turbo-diesels sold since 2014 and has issued a request to owners of vehicles using these engines to contact police.


In addition, German Police and prosecutors raided a number of premises in Frankfurt, Hanover and Regensburg including the offices of both Mitsubishi Motors and component supplier Continental.


Both Mitsubishi Motors and Continental have confirmed they are cooperating with the investigation while Bosch, which last year was burnt to the tune of €90 million ($A146m) for its role in enabling carmakers to cheat on emissions tests, has denied involvement.


MMAL’s statement said the company was “informed of an inspection this morning of its German distributor as well as of its European R&D facilities, also based in Germany, by European authorities”.


“We are awaiting clarification from Mitsubishi Motors Corporation in Japan as to whether this investigation impacts any vehicles outside of Europe.”


In 2016 Mitsubishi Motors copped a ¥50 billion ($A664m) hit to its bottom line in Japan for falsifying fuel consumption figures dating back to the early 1990s on a number of Japanese domestic market ‘kei’ micro-cars sold under the Mitsubishi and Nissan brands.


Much of this penalty was compensation to owners of affected vehicles for the higher-than-advertised petrol usage as well as back-payments on fuel consumption taxes, repaying government subsidies for fuel-efficient vehicles and recompensing Nissan and suppliers hit by the scandal.


As reported by GoAuto in 2017, Mitsubishi Motors intends to slash investment into diesel technology after 2020.


In future, Mitsubishi is expected to leverage its strength in plug-in hybrid technology within its alliance with Renault and Nissan.


In addition to Volkswagen Group, carmakers investigated for emissions cheating since the ‘dieselgate’ scandal broke in 2015 include BMW, Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Renault and PSA.


The investigations mainly centre on the use of illegal ‘defeat device’ software designed to make vehicles pass emissions tests in a lab environment only to emit many times more than the legislated amount in real-world driving.


Investigations and penalties over the use of automotive ‘defeat devices’ date back to the early 1970s, embroiling both heavy commercial and light passenger vehicles from numerous brands and manufacturers.

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