In typical honourable Japanese fashion, the President of Mitsubishi Motors Mr. Tetsuro Aikawa (above, screen grab from Euronews Business) has announced that he is stepping down from his position as President of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation, reports Japan’s Nikkei.
Aikawa is taking full responsibility over charges that the company has rigged fuel economy data on some of its Japanese market models. He took the fall not just because of his position as President, but also because he has served at various positions in Mitsubishi Motors’s product development unit, the unit responsible for cooking up the fuel economy test results’ numbers.
Aikawa’s position will be temporarily filled by CEO Osamu Masuko until Nissan completes its planned purchase of a 34 percent equity stake in Mitsubishi Motors, making Nissan the controlling shareholder of Mitsubishi Motors.
However trouble could also be brewing at Nissan, which has just been fined by the Korean government for cheating on its exhaust emission data for its diesel-powered Nissan Qashqai.
Nissan was found to have installed a software that disables its emissions control system once the ambient temperature goes above 35 degrees Celsius, exploiting a loophole in European regulations (Korea accepts European homologation papers for imported cars like the UK-made Qashqai) that allows car makers to temporarily disable the emissions control systems when operating under extreme conditions. 35 degrees Celsius is clearly far from extreme. Most cars’ emissions control systems designed with an upper threshold limit of 50 degrees Celsius.
Europe’s NEDC test cycle only tests vehicles at temperatures between 20 degrees to 30 degrees Celsius.