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Mitsubishi to cop $640 million fuel scandal hit

Kei to the safe: The 2016-17 Japanese financial year has only just begun, but already Mitsubishi is preparing itself for big bills in relation to 25 years of fuel figure fudging.

Bills to keep stacking up in Mitsubishi’s falsified fuel consumption figures scandal

20 Jun 2016

MITSUBISHI Motors Corporation (MMC) has forecast a ¥50 billion ($A640 million) hit to its bottom line for the Japanese financial year ending March 31 2017 due to the scandal surrounding fudged fuel consumption figures.

The announcement on the company’s investor relations website last Friday came just weeks after the disgraced Japanese carmaker posted an amendment to its results for the 2015-16 financial year with a ¥19 billion “extraordinary loss” relating to falsified efficiency information dating back to 1991.

Much of the cost is for compensation to buyers of Japanese domestic market ‘kei’ micro-cars, the Mitsubishi eK Wagon and eK Space, as well as the Nissan Dayz and Dayz Roox, built under contract by MMC.

Owners of another five JDM models that were subject to manipulated fuel consumption data will also be paid out. Mitsubishi maintains that the scandal does not affect vehicles sold outside Japan.

In a statement, MMC said the FY2016-17 cost will be “payments to its customers as well as the customers of Nissan … included in this amount is approximately 3 billion yen in expenses as payments to customers of five registered vehicle models outside of customers of four mini-car models”.

The company is reportedly paying out between ¥30,000 ($A385) and ¥100,000 ($A1285) to customers, while also facing back-payments of fuel consumption taxes, repaying government subsidies attracted by fuel-efficient vehicles, bridging the fuel-cost gap between claimed and real consumption and further compensation to Nissan and suppliers affected by the scandal.

MMC’s statement also said it is “in the process of investigating the cost of other probable expense(s) that may occur outside the aforementioned payments related to this issue”.

The questionable fuel economy figures were uncovered by Nissan during the development stage of the next-generation joint-venture Kei cars, with the scandal ultimately leading to Nissan acquiring a 34 per cent stake in MMC for ¥237 billion ($A2.9b) after the stock price plummeted.

MMC president Tetsuro Aikawa and quality and product strategy executive vice-president Ryugo Nakao both stepped down, with company CEO and chairman Osamu Masuko temporarily taking the reins.

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