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Business

Mitsubishi test rigging scandal widens

Japanese carmaker Mitsubishi has admitted it's been using improper fuel efficiency testing methods for two and a half decades. The announcement is bound to plunge the firm deeper into its data-cheating crisis.

Mitsubishi Motors confessed Tuesday it had been using an improper fuel-efficiency testing method for 25 years, admitting it did not know how many cars were affected.

"For the domestic market, we have been using that method since 1991," Vice President Ryugo Nakao told reporters in Tokyo. "But we don't know the number of models affected in total," he added.

Last week, Mitsubishi admitted that unnamed employees rigged tests to make some of its cars seem more fuel-efficient than they were in reality to boost sales. The carmaker said manipulated testing dated back to 2002.

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Mitsubishi under mounting pressure

Shares in free fall

Tuesday's revelations looked set to plunge the auto maker deeper into crisis, with its Tokyo-listed shares in free fall since the news broke. The stock lost half its value, wiping out billions of dollars.

The latest twist fueled speculation that the misconduct stretched to vehicles sold overseas and would send the number of affected vehicles soaring

from the more than 600,000 already known.

Officials said Mitsubishi did not change its fuel efficiency testing method when the Japanese government ordered the industry to use an updated system years ago.

hg/cjc (AFP, dpa)

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