The Japanese government raided the offices of Mitsubishi Motors Thursday after the car maker admitted to tampering with fuel mileage data to make their vehicles appear more efficient.
Government agents descended on the company’s Okazaki office just days after revelations of the fraud came to light, reports the Washington Examiner. The company cheated the fuel tests by varying the weight loads placed above the vehicles’ wheels, according to local reports. More than 600,000 Mitsubishi vehicles are believed to be affected.
Mitsubishi confirmed Thursday they tinkered with air resistance and “rolling resistance” of vehicle tires to manipulate the emissions data for 625,000 vehicles, including minivans, trucks, and passenger cars, as well as vehicles that are taxed at a lower rate because they meet fuel emission standards.
Japan’s government called the company’s actions “extremely serious” and asked Mitsubishi officials to write up a report explaining the reasons behind the move to falsify fuel emission data.
The raid comes on the day German-based automaker Volkswagen finally settled claims brought against it over the so-called cheat devices the company placed on more than 600,000 diesel-powered vehicles. According to the finalized agreement, VW owners can choose between having their vehicles fixed or having them bought back.
Gina McCarthy, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said Thursday during a discussion at George Washington University that she has advised other countries on how best to regulate environmental laws governing fuel emission. She did not mention Mitsubishi by name during her talk.
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