Japan's Mitsubishi Motors says it used fuel economy testing methods that did not comply with Japanese regulations for 25 years, much longer than previously known. Grace Pascoe reports.
For 25 year they've been falsifying fuel data. That's the latest admission from Mitsubishi Motors. It sent shares tumbling again - leaving executives unable to guarantee the company's future. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) MITSUBISHI MOTORS CORP PRESIDENT, TETSURO AIKAWA, SAYING: "Until we get an idea of when this investigation will end, I can't answer your question. That's how big of a problem I feel this is." Last week Mitsubishi admitted that fuel economy tests on 625,000 vehicles sold in Japan were rigged. It's appointed external experts to investigate - and there are fears further irregularities may be found.a\ (SOUNDBITE) (English) FXPRO, HEAD OF RESEARCH, SIMON SMITH, SAYING: "Their shares are down around 50 percent in the last week or so and that is pretty similar to what we saw in VW back in September when the initial scandal was announced, so a significant impact on the share price. In Japan it has the very strong culture of trust, but the issue there is it goes back not only to 2000 but right even back as far as the early 90's." Mitsubishi's has lost half its market value - that's 3.9 billion dollars - since the scandal emerged. That doesn't include the potential cost of compensation and fines. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FXPRO, HEAD OF RESEARCH, SIMON SMITH, SAYING: "I think it is pretty much impossible in its current form for them to reverse let's say the value that's been destroyed from the company itself. They could survive but as a very diminished brand." Japan's transport ministry has set up a task force and U.S. auto safety regulators are demanding more information. Production and sales of all the effected models remain at a standstill.