Mitsubishi Motors Corp says it used improper fuel economy testing methods to make emissions levels appear favourable. As Hayley Platt reports the admission sent its shares down 15 percent, wiping $1.2 billion from its market value.
A deja vu moment - another emissions confession and another apology. This time it's Mitsubishi Motors - Japan's sixth-largest automaker by market value. (SOUNDBITE)(Japanese) MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORP PRESIDENT, TETSURO AIKAWA, SAYING: "We have discovered that improper tests were used to make fuel consumption look better than it actually was. The testing methods weren't in line with Japanese regulations either. We offer our profound apologies to all our customers and stakeholders." Mitsubishi says 625,000 vehicles produced since mid-2015 were manipulated. They included its eK mini-wagon and 468,000 similar models made for Nissan Motors. (SOUNDBITE)(English) CIBC, HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "It's a fairly sizeable number but it would appear nothing like the scale of Volkswagen but clearly it is going to be an obvious headwind for the company and accordingly we've seen the equity market marking down their share price very dramatically." The 15 percent drop was its biggest one day fall in 12 years. And it wiped $1.2 billion off its market value. (SOUNDBITE)(English) CIBC, HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "It is a relatively small player in the global market infrastructure but of course it is a smaller component part of a bigger group so I guess that's going to be the other variable in play." It's not the first scandal Mitsubishi Motors has been involved in. In 2000 it covered up safety records and customer complaints. And four years later it admitted to broader problems going back decades. The timing of this confession isn't ideal either. Mitsubishi recently revised down its earnings outlook because of the global slowdown. It will now stop making and selling the models and has set up an independent panel to investigate the problems.