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Automaker Mitsubishi admits falsifying fuel-efficiency tests

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The rigged figures were discovered after Nissan found inconsistencies in fuel-economy data and reported it.

No...This can't be! A Japanese company stabbing another Japanese company in the back! There must be some serious bad blood between Nissan and Mitsubishi for this to happen, and in public too!

I'll bet something comes out from Nissan within the next year...

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Automaker Mitsubishi admits falsifying fuel-efficiency tests

Living their "Drive @ earth" slogan, then.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

When you add this to decades of covering up defects, for which it was found out twice, I don't think you have a very trustworthy company.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@ Yubaru

It was reported on BBC that Mitsubishi actually make cars that are rebranded and sold as Nissan. So it would seem that at least Nissan are doing due diligence.

Mitsubishi have a long track record, such as faulty wheel studs on trucks that that were know of for 10 years and lead to the death of a couple of children, the cover up of replacement of defective parts and so on. In Japan they reecived a (gentle) slap on the wrist, bowed deeply and carried on with an unaltered corporate ethic.

Therefore I am not surprised by this news at all.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

YubaruAPR. 21, 2016 - 07:03AM JST No...This can't be! A Japanese company stabbing another Japanese company in the back! There must be some serious bad blood between Nissan and Mitsubishi for this to happen, and in public too! ... I'll bet something comes out from Nissan within the next year...

Could be. Could also be that Nissan is genuinely trying to meet emission standards and is sick of Mitsubishi undercutting their products by defrauding the public about the quality of their own.

Unfortunately, we'll probably never know because despite all its rules, Japan is pretty terrible at regulating.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

On a different note, since Prime Minister Abe had pinned most of his economic recovery hopes on exports and therefore cars does this event qualify as the catastrophe that he said would delay the sales tax increase or will he now need to raise taxes even more to cover the loss of income tax he can now expect from Mitsubishi.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Maybe it's time that the Japanese government run its own fuel economy tests with its own testing labs, just like what the US EPA does. And the whole world standardizes on a common standard for fuel economy testing for urban driving and highway driving.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Maybe it's time that the Japanese government run its own fuel economy tests with its own testing labs, just like what the US EPA does.

The Japanese testing is likely more accurate that EPA testing, which is not realistic. For example, EPA tests of highway fuel mileage are done at 45mph, on flat ground, in good weather, with only the driver (no passengers), no luggage, during daytime hours (so headlights don't consume engine power) and no air conditioner or heater activated. This is hardly "real-world" testing, and why no car you buy in America gets the gas mileage shown on the EPA stickers on the windows.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Bow, and ye shall be forgiven.

In a relatively short time span we've had Olympus, Toshiba, Asahi Kasei and now Mitsubishi (f knows how many countless other, smaller companies). This is a corrupt land.

...and “Dayz Roox”, which Mitsubishi produces for rival Nissan.

"Dayz Roox"? What a name. How do you even pronounce that? Like カレールー?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This is what happens when corporations are allowed to regulate themselves.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The ones who have to carry the burden are the consumers.

And the taxpayers, since we pay for a regulatory structure that is negligent and/or collusive.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It is a nice day to confess a wrong doing, because all the media attention is directed to the on-going earthquakes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They want to exaggerate fuel-efficiency because of current market situation in Japan. We usually care car's fuel-efficient rate to save gasoline cost. 30km per a litter? 25km per a litter? Actually we cannot get a good rate anymore.

But using wrong data at car maker is unacceptable for consumers of course since we believe their score in catalog.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

FYI, my comment was to be read with rolling eyes sarcasm. Japanese businesses are just as cut throat as any, and they will not skirt the chance to cut into their competition or cause them problems. They typically however do it covertly, it's the price of business here. Bullying and crap occurs all the time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It surprised me that car makers are trusted to make their own mileage tests: I wouldn't trust them at all. Unfortunately, Japanese consumers who bought these cars will have no luck suing the manufacturer and will have to make do with the usual empty "regrettable" statement and bow.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Just par for the course at Japan Inc. - I'm sure this is only the tip of the iceberg.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

And again, no punishment except to rely on the "market" to boycott them. I think it's time to tax corporate lies, if you get caught lying, you get tax penalty for 10 years. I bet you that tank the stock price faster than greedy opportunist investors yelling "sell sell sell".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Mitsubishi has always had "management issues". From today's CBC article: """Mitsubishi Motors struggled for years to win back consumer trust after an auto defects scandal in the early 2000s over cover-ups of problems such as failing brakes, faulty clutches and fuel tanks prone to falling off dating back to the 1970s."""

2 ( +3 / -1 )

For a nation that prides itself on honour, the sight of senior executives bowing in "apology" for yet another unethical action, is all too common.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

How hard is it to test fuel-efficiency? Just fill up the tank and go until it runs dry. Then see how many kilos the thing went.

Besides, it's not how fuel efficient the car is, it's how cool it looks.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It is probably a coincidence that all J-inc in bed with the nuclear village industry are always, soon, or later caught on falsification.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“Today, we have no plans to change our relationship,” with Mitsubishi, Nissan says.

Why on earth not?

If that's the case, I definitely won't be buying a Nissan then, either.

Mitsubishi, like other zombie companies in Japan, deserves to go under. These stale old companies do not deserve to be kept in existence, they deserve bankruptcy and winding down, or at best getting bought out by a vulture fund and having management completely overhauled. And staff involved in the naughtiness should be dismissed.

despite all its rules, Japan is pretty terrible at regulating.

That's true everywhere.

The most effective punishment is that which can be dealt by us, the free market. That's why I won't be buying a Nissan if they fail to do their own part to see that Mitsubishi faces some heavy punishment.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No...This can't be! A Japanese company stabbing another Japanese company in the back!

Nissan is 43% owned by Renault, and has a French CEO, who operated is in the Netherlands. Its not really a Japanese company. I guarantee that if Nissan was still a Japanese company, we would never have heard about this.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@sangetsu03, I think you might be thinking about the pre-2006 highway fuel economy test. The current highway fuel economy test includes actually running the air conditioner and even a run to 130 km/h (circa 80 mph).

In the end, the big problem here is that the fuel economy rating are based on the manufacturer's own tests, not tests done by a government agency or an approved third party. As such, Mitsubishi "tweaked" its internal fuel economy testing to get better fuel economy results in an unrealistic manner, and when Nissan started to notice that the Mitsubishi-built vehicles were getting real-world fuel economy lower than Mitsubishi's claims, that's when the scandal really broke.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

fxgaiAPR. 21, 2016 - 12:30PM JST That's true everywhere. The most effective punishment is that which can be dealt by us, the free market. That's why I won't be buying a Nissan if they fail to do their own part to see that Mitsubishi faces some heavy punishment.

No, not at all.

Consumers can only punish companies for selling inferior products when the consumers are able to know that the products are inferior. When companies are free to lie about the quality of their products, especially when the lie is difficult for the average consumer to easily determine, then there is no way for the consumer to objectively know which product is better and they can't effectively vote with their dollar.

In many countries, when a company actively and explicitly deceives customers about the quality of their products, they are recognized as having committed fraud and are liable for legal and/or civil penalties. In Japan, when a company actively and explicitly deceives customers about the quality of their products, a government agency sends them a letter asking them to stop and then the president makes a deep bow on TV and that's generally the extent of the punishment they get.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This is what happens when corporations are allowed to regulate themselves.

No clue at all? Is this what you really think? Have you not even a simple notion of how ignorant your statement is?

No business regulates itself, period. Do you know what regulates businesses and corporations? Any idea whatsoever? I know this is very difficult for you to comprehend, pardon me if I write too quickly, but it is profit which regulates any, every, and all businesses, in every city and every country in the world. And do you know who regulates profits? Any idea at all? It is the people, who are free to choose what, when, where, and who to buy a product or service from.

Do you want an example of how Mitsubishi is being regulated right now? A 15% decline in it's stock price is a start, and that loss is more money than you would earn if you lived to be 10,000 years old. And of course Mitsubishi will likely have to buy back (or heavily discount) the cars currently sitting on car lots, as well as those who have recently been sold. And then there is the matter of public trust, which will reduce sales; the public's own way of penalizing companies who are not honest. The public's ability to regulate corporations is as efficient as it is pitiless.

And those workers at Mitsubishi who falsified the mileage information will be punished. They will of course not be fired, because "regulations" in Japan will not allow them to be fired, demoted, or even held at their current pay scales for longer than other employees who did not lie. But their new jobs will be making document and gopher work until the day they retire.

Once again, the people, and no one but the people regulate corporations. Though such regulation is more limited in Japan because "regulations" limit choices compared to other countries, and the Japanese makers have used government "regulations" to give them a near monopoly on the domestic auto market. I have one of the few cars on the road in Japan which is not Japanese, and am happier for the fact now. I have "regulated" the auto corporations by giving my share of profit to a German company, because this company provides me with a great car for what I consider a fair price.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I think Mitsubishi should stop making cars and focus on making electric fans....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Consumers can only punish companies for selling inferior products when the consumers are able to know that the products are inferior.

If we didn't know already, we know now.

When companies are free to lie about the quality of their products

Everyone is free to lie. But with lying comes serious risks. A plummeting share price is a good start.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

fxgaiAPR. 21, 2016 - 02:58PM JST If we didn't know already, we know now.

Fat lot of good it does consumers who've already bought a Mitusbishi car. But you've got yours, so they don't matter, eh?

Everyone is free to lie.

Not in parts of the world that aren't suffering from 30 years of economic stagnation. In most of the world, lying when money is involved is generally a crime.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Fat lot of good it does consumers who've already bought a Mitusbishi car.

Yup, that's right. The folks who bought a Mitsubishi car are going to have to suffer from a degree of fuel-inefficiency that they may not have expected. (Not the end of the world.)

No one said free market capitalism is perfect, only that it is the best option we have. We have to take the good with a bad.

The alternative is that the government hikes taxes, gets bigger, imposes lots of ridiculous regulations on everyone, in a well-meaning attempt to account for every possible situation which a bunch of bureaucrats imagine might possibly go wrong (but often won't). The end result is that everyone will be poorer as a result.

Alas this is actually the Japanese approach. That's why we have bureaucrats telling us to not walk on escalators and be careful not to choke when eating omochi at New Year's, etc.

In most of the world, lying when money is involved is generally a crime.

Not sure that stops people lying in those places you refer to, but I'm not against simple laws that can be applied flexibly. If Japan wants to have a law that says "thou shalt not lie about your products" that's OK with me, but I don't want a bunch of prescriptive laws dictating in fine details how every single type of business operator should go about what it is they want to do. That stifles innovation, and wastes my taxes.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No one said free market capitalism is perfect, only that it is the best option we have.

Except that it's not. Regulated capitalism is the best option. Free-market just leaves the people in power to become more powerful, without the people at the bottom having any chance of upward mobility.

Capitalism is the best option. But not free-market. That's at best only slightly better than capitalism.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Of course consumers will be pissed. Oil prices is not cheap eventhough it is not a high as before. Any claims to make your car fuel efficient will be taken into scepticism from now on regardless of the car makers.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Free market capitalism doesn't mean there are no laws, but it means the government allows the playing field to be fair.

Consider Japan's butter market. It is not free at all. The people who produce (insufficient) butter are artificially protected through exorbitant price controls, which results in the people at the bottom have less chance of being able to afford products derived from butter.

If the market were free, the butter producers would lose their vested interests, and supply of butter from overseas would flood in and more consumers would be able to enjoy products derived from butter.

Free markets are the best. It doesn't mean there are no laws. But it does mean that government gets out of the way of consumer and producer choices.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Free market capitalism doesn't mean there are no laws, but it means the government allows the playing field to be fair.

No it's not:

A free market is a system in which the prices for goods and services are set freely by consent between vendors and consumers, in which the laws and forces of supply and demand are free from any intervention by a government, price-setting monopoly, or other authority.

And:

In a free-market economy, prices for goods and services are set freely by the forces of supply and demand and are allowed to reach their point of equilibrium without intervention by government policy

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_market

Compare this to regulated capitalism:

A regulated market or controlled market, is a market where the government controls the forces of supply and demand, such as who is allowed to enter the market or what prices may be charged.[1] It is common for some markets to be regulated under the claim that they are natural monopolies. For example, telecommunications, water, gas or electricity supply. Often, regulated markets are established during the partial privatisation of government controlled utility assets.

A variety of forms of regulations exist in a regulated market. These include controls, oversights, anti-discrimination, environmental protection, taxation and labor laws.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulated_market

If the free market could regulate itself, then it would be the preferable option. But the free market has shown that it does not care about the greater good, only about profits for the corporations. And that steps on the little people and keeps them down. Think the banking industry before the lehman collapse.

Free market capitalism is most definitely not the best option.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

It seems obvious to me that the knowledge about products is asymmetrical. The producers clearly know more about the products they make than the consumer. They are involved directly all the time knowing about their products. The consumer doesn't have enough time to research the method of production, the raw materials, their provenance, the quality, etc etc. The ability of companies to deceive is huge compared to the ability of the consumer to find out. Because of this asymmetry we need some kind of bodies working on consumers' behalf to ensure the products are as they are said to be and that the producers are not dumping costs (externalities) on the rest of society. The trouble is that there is incentive for the producers to infiltrate these bodies to continue their deception. But the answer to this is greater exposure of the relationships and elucidation of the implications of this by a free press. This is sadly also part of the problem the world over because the media is also bought and paid for to a greater or lesser extent; greater in Japan's case.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Seems J-cars aren't above foreign counterparts as advertised after all

1 ( +1 / -0 )

fxgaiAPR. 21, 2016 - 07:22PM JST but I'm not against simple laws that can be applied flexibly.

Then why exactly did you start this whole red herring train of thought by disagreeing with my initial comment:

Japan is pretty terrible at regulating.

With the provably false claim:

That's true everywhere.

You obviously are opposed to regulation in principle or you wouldn't have wasted our time with this entire exchange.

I don't want a bunch of prescriptive laws dictating in fine details how every single type of business operator should go about what it is they want to do.

Good for you. I never called for that. I said Japan is pretty terrible at regulating, not "I want a bunch of prescriptive laws..." yadda yadda yadda. Discussions would go a whole lot smoother if you didn't just completely ignore what people have posted and pretend they're the perfect political foil to whatever your pet ideology is.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I'm not opposed to regulation in principle, I'm opposed to excessive and crappy regulations. But no laws at all would not see people's basic property rights protected for example, and that is a prerequisite for success.

Mitsubishi lying about their emissions is not worth government creating a new bunch of regulations over. Their stock is down, and it was limit down yesterday so probably same direction today. The punishment is fast and swift. What good does a bunch of regulators pointing fingers do?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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