Mitsubishi i-MiEV had its mileage ratings inflated in Japan

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Mitsubishi did it again. The Japanese government ordered the sales suspension of eight more models after finding their mileage ratings were forged. One of those models is the electric car i-MiEV that Mitsubishi rated with 180 km range in the already overly optimistic Japanese J08-cycle. The government found that following its normalized cycle the i-MiEV gets no more than 172 km range.

When an automaker feels the need to cheat in the world’s most optimistic mileage test cycle (J08), you know that it’s in a very bad shape. This is probably the end for the little i-MiEV.


A company spokesman said this:


“Of several data we came up with on mileage for the models, we used the best ones, not the average.”

“We are sorry for the trouble we have caused our customers.”


Mitsubishi’s vehicle sales in Japan keep falling month after month, Nissan probably already regrets the recent decision to buy 34 % of this company. Trust takes a long time to build but can be lost in a blink of the eye.

Let’s hope that Nissan can take control and help Mitsubishi sell electric cars with decent range without the need of cheating mileage ratings.



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Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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5 years ago

“We are sorry” – but we have no intention to compensate the customers financially or otherwise take action to rectify the issue.

OTOH, when we look at the state of affairs for ICEVs, it is hard to get all that riled up over this matter. It is common knowledge that the fuel efficiency numbers not just in the world’s most optimistic cycle (whichever that might be), but in EVERY cycle certainly including the EUs and the USAs, are inflated by some 20-30%.

Of course, cheating by lobbying for unrealistic test cycles is perfectly LEGAL. But I’m not so sure it is much different morally, and it certainly has far more serious consequences than Mitsubishi claiming the i-Miev could go 180 km instead of claiming the almost equally false 172 km!

For some reason it seems to be much more in vogue to critisize the evil corporations than to have a critical look at regulators and ask whether they are doing their job. The EPA didn’t discover the VW cheating but had the opportunity to do so – with almost ANY simple real-world testing – for nearly a decade. It was thanks to a whistleblower, not the EPA actually checking if companies complied properly or even just check whether the regulations actually work (i.e. check if real-world emissions actually fell, and if so how much). And yet the EPA looks like a hero in 99% of media coverage!

Don’t get me wrong. Illegal cheating is of course reprehensible. But legal cheating facilitated by either corrupt or incompetent government is just a far more serious problem. In addition, the best way to stop the corporate cheating is NOT to punish corporations with enormous fines that threaten to kill the business. This may harm some of the top dogs a little, but nowhere near enough to be an effective deterrent given the upside (thanks to “performance-based pay”), and it mainly hurts the vast majority of innocent people who are invested in the business either as shareholders (kept in the dark about the misdeeds) or employees. Consider the VW case again. If the EPA tested properly it simply couldn’t have happened – VW would have known they would immediately be caught. The result would be very much better not just for the “victims” of the cheating (the millions of people who must be assumed to be at a somewhat greater risk of lung disease than if VW had never cheated), but also for the tens of thousands of employees and shareholders who now have to suffer from collective punishment. The former VW CEO meanwhile got a huge paycheck since he was terminated early and there isn’t, so far anyway, any conclusive evidence to prove that he played a part or knew what was going on.

People need to hold their governments to higher standards. When corporate misdeeds are uncovered, we should spend at least as much energy on thinking about how this could go on and how to make sure it can’t continue to go on as on pouring out our indignation with the offender.

5 years ago
Reply to  Terawatt

What is the advantage for the customer, to get financial compensation and then lose all warranty and value of their car, because Mitsubishi runs into bankruptcy and closes down forever.