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Mitsubishi fuel-efficiency cheating scandal widens

A Japanese newspaper has claimed Mitsubishi Motors has cheated on fuel-efficiency testing for almost every model it's sold in Japan. So far, the embattled carmaker has said only four models are affected.

Questions about the true size of Mitsubishi's current scandal re-emerged Wednesday when Japanese newspaper Asahi said dozens of the carmaker's models sold domestically had been affected by deliberate fuel-efficiency overstatement since 1991.

So far, Mitsubishi has only confirmed that four models and

over 600,000 vehicles

- all sold in Japan - had been involved in the cheating scandal.

The Asahi daily said retesting by the firm had found it overstated the fuel economy of some vehicles by more than 15 percent.

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Mitsubishi latest carmaker entangled in emissions scandal

Gauging the damage

Mitsubishi officials tried to play down the report, saying the firm had already made it clear the number of models affected could widen.

But the new allegations are likely to stir speculation that the misconduct stretched to vehicles sold overseas. The Japanese carmaker shifted about a million vehicles globally last year alone.

Mitsubishi said it could not make financial forecasts fro the current fiscal year in light of the potential damage from the scandal, including the possibility of hefty fines, lawsuits and compensation costs.

hg/cjc (Reuters, AFP)

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