If the government of your country raids your headquarters in order to catch documentation and dive into paperwork and information you have on file before you have a chance to dump it, that’s a sure sign something needs to change within your organization. As of September 2, the Japanese government has now raided the Mitsubishi Motors headquarters in Japan three times since the news broke that the company had been cheating and inflating the numbers regarding fuel mileage on their vehicles. This is more than a bit worrisome, especially considering the number of raids over the past several months on the company.
Although Japan is not known to be a country which is patient with inconsistencies and a lack of integrity, this may seem a bit aggressive. Considering the news that recently broke that Mitsubishi had been cheating on the mileage ratings of more models this action should have been expected. Originally Nissan found the first inconsistency in April when they tested the eK wagons and eK Space which were sold under their brand name. Since then Mitsubishi Motors has had to agree to payments of compensation to owners of these cars in order to make up for this discrepancy.
Originally the Japanese transport ministry ordered the retesting of these cars to learn what the actual mileage numbers were, but Mitsubishi Motors once again tried to lie to the public. The statement Mitsubishi released stated the real numbers weren’t as different as would be expected, but in a retraction to that statement we learned that Mitsubishi was stating the best numbers from the retesting, not the average, which is supposed to be used. Now we’ve learned there were even more models that have false mileage data that are Mitsubishi vehicles, which has now caused a stop sale on these vehicles.
While the Mitsubishi brand has diminished in the US to nearly just a few models and the SUVs are what keeps this brand limping along in our market, but the brand is still strong and complete in the Japanese market. With the news of so many models being affected and the continued attempts at cover up the Mitsubishi name is taking a huge hit in Japan and sales for the brand are now down a full 35 percent in its native land. This has caused a panic at Mitsubishi Motors and with the most recent news there is an agreement that might have to be reversed.
Currently Nissan has agreed to purchase a controlling interest in Mitsubishi Motors to help the brand regain some of its strength in the market, but that hasn’t been approved as of yet. This new information may make the team at Nissan think twice and change their mind which would cause Mitsubishi to need to evaluate whether or not the automotive division is still worth pursuing. For most of us Mitsubishi is just a car company, but they have much more under their umbrella and a failing automotive brand might not be worth saving if Nissan doesn’t sign off on the deal to take control of the brand.