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Tokyo: Japan imposed a fine of 480 million yen (about $4 million) on auto giant Mitsubishi Motors on Friday, for falsifying fuel consumption data of several of its mini vehicles.

In a statement, the country’s Consumer Affairs Agency said it imposed the fine based on evidence that the company marketed the cars under inflated fuel economy claims, Efe news reported.

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In April 2016, Mitsubishi admitted it had systematically falsified fuel consumption data in four models of mini vehicles — cars with engines smaller than 660 cubic centimetres — including two sold by Nissan Motor, and later acknowledged that more models were affected.

The manipulated data that appeared on sales pamphlets with Mitsubishi and Nissan dealers as also in advertising campaigns indicated fuel spent by the automobiles was 5 to 15 percent lower than what they actually consumed.

Over 625,000 units of these mini vehicles — highly popular in Japan due to their small size and lower fuel consumption — were sold in the archipelago under the false claims.

Following the scandal and ensuing financial troubles for Mitsubishi, Nissan bought a 34 percent stake in the company in October last year to salvage consumer confidence and return the firm to profitability, according to the new senior management.

First Published | 27 January 2017 6:56 PM
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