Mitsubishi President Steps Down Amid Fuel Data Scandal

Weeks after Mitsubishi president Tetsuro Aikawa apologized for his company’s role in falsifying fuel data in thousands of vehicles in Japan, the executive has stepped down.

Aikawa, who denied personal involvement in the ongoing scandal, announced Wednesday that he would step down and take responsibility for the mileage cheating issue, the Associated Press reports.

The resignation is expected to be approved by shareholders on June 24.

A successor for Aikawa was not announced on Wednesday, but with Nissan’s recent deal to acquire a 34% stake in Mitsubishi, it’s possible the carmaker’s new leader could be from that company.

Nissan initially tipped Mitsubishi off to the fact that its vehicles included falsified fuel economy data.

A week after the scandal broke, an ongoing internal investigation by Mitsubishi found that the carmaker has used unapproved fuel testing methods for the vehicles sold in Japan for the last 25 years.

The unapproved method measured the effect of deceleration during fuel-economy testing. The method, which tends to give a more flattering mileage rating, is approved in the United States but not in Japan.

Regulators in the U.S. have since opened an investigation to ensure vehicles stateside are not affected by the issue.

Aikawa apologized for the falsified data when the news broke, noting that while he was unaware the irregularities were happening, he felt responsible.

“The wrongdoing was intentional,” Aikawa said. “It is clear the falsification was done to make the mileage look better. But why they would resort to fraud to do this is still unclear.”

“I’m truly sorry that customers were led to buy vehicles based on incorrect fuel-efficiency ratings. All I can do is apologize.”

Mitsubishi Motors president to resign over mileage scandal [The Associated Press]

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