MTSUBISHI Motors Corp’s fuel economy scandal broadened on Friday as United States auto safety authorities said they were seeking information and after reports that the automaker submitted misleading data on at least one more model than disclosed and likely several more.
Japan’s sixth-largest automaker admitted this week it had overstated the fuel efficiency of 625,000 cars, wiping off around 40 percent of its market value, or $3.2 billion over three days, and prompting a raid by Japanese authorities on one of its facilities.
Adding to fears that the scandal will lead to ballooning compensation and fines, top Japanese government officials said Mitsubishi could be responsible for reimbursing consumers and the government if investigations find the vehicles were not as fuel-efficient as claimed.
“This is a serious problem that could lead to the loss of trust in our country’s auto industry,” Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii told a news conference on Friday.
He said he wanted Mitsubishi to look at the possibility of buying back the cars in question.