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Car and Driver: Mitsubishi Motors President To Step Down Amid Fuel Economy Scandal

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Mitsubishi XR-PHEV II concept

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Amid revelations that Mitsubishi Motors intentionally miscalculated fuel economy figures for a number of its vehicles going as far back as 1991, the division’s president, Tetsuro Aikawa, announced his intention to resign from his post.

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“I must step down so that a fundamental reform can take place in the vehicle development department,” Aikawa said.

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Aikawa began working at Mitsubishi Motors in 1978, and became president nearly two years ago. He will formally step down at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in June.

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The news comes after Nissan spent 237 billion yen (approximately $2.1 billion) to purchase a 34 percent stake in Mitsubishi Motors, replacing Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as the automaker’s largest shareholder. Nissan currently operates a joint venture with Mitsubishi to develop and build kei cars (tiny city cars sold in the Japanese domestic market that were the first to be identified in the fuel economy cheating scandal). Nissan stated that its additional investment will allow it to continue to work with the troubled company on “purchasing, common vehicle platforms, technology-sharing, joint plant utilization, and growth markets.”

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Meanwhile, Suzuki has also admitted to improperly testing the fuel economy of 16 different models it sells in Japan. The company stated that it has no plans to revise the mileage data for the approximately 2.1 million vehicles affected. Suzuki began using incorrect fuel economy testing methods in 2010, but claims that tests conducted under government-mandated methods result in no significant differences from previously stated fuel economy figures.

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Suzuki, the fourth-largest Japanese automaker, left the U.S. market after the 2013 model year. Like Mitsubishi, Suzuki said that no vehicles sold in the U.S. are affected by fuel economy discrepancies attributed to improper testing.

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