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Suzuki faces claims of false fuel economy tests

Japanese carmaker Suzuki is the latest automotive company to be caught in an improper fuel economy testing issue, following similar admissions by Mitsubishi last month.

Suzuki admitted to "discrepancies" in its fuel economy and emissions testing, after media reports surfaced on Wednesday saying an internal audit uncovered irregularities in the company's methods.

"Some discrepancies were found in the automobile emission and fuel-efficiency testing process between the testing method required by the government and the one Suzuki employed," the company said in a statement.

Sixteen models and about two million cars are affected, but Suzuki said all the vehicles in question were only sold within Japan. The carmaker also denied actively rigging the results of testing.

"Any wrongdoing, such as manipulation of fuel efficiency data, were not found," Suzuki said. Company chairman Osamu Suzuki visited the transport ministry to discuss the issue.

The ministry urged the country’s carmakers to launch internal reviews, after rival Mitsubishi reported in April that it actively cheated on fuel economy tests.

Mitsubishi admitted that it had been using obsolete fuel economy tests since new regulations were introduced more than 25 years ago. It is also expected to submit a report to the transport authorities on Wednesday.

Suzuki shares dove 15 percent on the news, as investors sold off stock in the small carmaker, which sells about three million vehicles annually.

jd/uhe (dpa, AFP)

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