Mitsubishi’s problems seem to be worsening.
The Japanese carmaker’s boss Tetsuro Aikawa has apologised for misleading drivers over the fuel efficiency of 635,000 vehicles and now US auto safety authorities have asked for more information even though all the cars involved so far have been sold in Japan.
In addition there are reports that Mitsubishi falsified mileage data for at least one more model than previously disclosed and possibly several others.
A company spokesman said on Friday the company was still looking into those models.
“A lot of the potential impact on Mitsubishi is pending whether they find out that something was wrong in cars sold in the US,” said Christopher Richter, an analyst at CLSA.
An official at the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Reuters the regulator had asked Mitsubishi for information on vehicles sold in the United States.
He declined to comment on which models it had requested information on, or whether it had requested data from other automakers.
Top Japanese government officials have said Mitsubishi may have to reimburse consumers and the government if investigations find the vehicles were not as fuel-efficient as claimed.
And Japan’s Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii called the revelations “a serious problem that could lead to the loss of trust in the country’s auto industry”.
He said he wanted Mitsubishi to look at the possibility of buying back the cars in question.
The Transport Ministry has ordered Mitsubishi to submit a full report on its test data within a week, and for other domestic automakers to submit fuel economy test data by May 18.