Cypress-based Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. said the fuel economy data for its vehicles model years 2013 to 2017 sold in the U.S. is accurate and is not affected by testing irregularities its Japan-based parent revealed last week.
The statement follows the Environmental Protection Agency’s request to Mitsubishi Motors Corp. in Tokyo to submit additional information regarding its vehicles sold in the U.S. after the automaker said it used a testing procedure that “provided more advantageous fuel consumption rates than the actual rates” for several vehicle models sold in Japan.
Mitsubishi since 1991 relied on a “high-speed coasting test” instead of the “coasting test required by the applicable laws and regulations in Japan,” the company said in a statement. Some 157,000 “eK Wagon” and “eK Space” vehicles are affected, as well as 468,000 “Dayz” and “Dayz Roox” models that Mitsubishi made for Nissan Motors Corp. since June 2013.
“In the process of the development for the next generation of mini-car products, [Nissan] examined the fuel consumption rates of the applicable cars for [Nissan’s] reference and found deviations in the figures,” according to Mitsubishi Motors Corp.
Ann Arbor, Mich.-based Mitsubishi Motors R&D America Inc., together with Mitsubishi Motors Corp., conducted an internal audit of U.S. market vehicles going back to 2013 model year to check previously submitted data to the EPA and confirmed that U.S. market vehicles are not affected by the parent company’s testing issues in Japan.
“An entirely different system is used for the United States market to determine what the EPA calls Road Load Coefficient, strictly adhering to EPA procedures,” Mitsubishi Motors North America said in an emailed statement. “The data generated is then independently verified for its accuracy before being submitted to the EPA for their fuel economy testing. MMNA has shared this information with EPA, California Air Resources Board and DOT.”
EPA said Tuesday it will direct the company to “conduct additional coast down testing for vehicles sold in the U.S. We are coordinating with the California Air Resources Board.”
Coast down testing measures a vehicle’s driveline, powertrain, tire rolling and aerodynamic resistance. The collected data is then used to calibrate a dynamometer, a device used to establish its MPG ratings.
Mitsubishi Motors North America sold 95,342 vehicles the U.S. last year, a 22.8% uptick over 2014.