Mitsubishi Motors brought in investigators to answer a question; why did they manipulate fuel economy figures on a number of their models? The results of the investigation were announced yesterday and it was a combination of various decisions and factors that led to it.
The investigation criticized the company for "not having the manufacturing philosophy of an automaker". A key example comes from the company not rallying their workers to help them back on track after two major scandals. Instead, it was focused on cutting costs wherever it could. This caused Mitsubishi engineers to pull off the impossible task of improving fuel economy on their current engines and not developing new ones. There was also the feeling that workers couldn't speak up about reaching these impossible targets.
The investigation also revealed that management failed to the address the possibility of something fishy going on with the fuel economy testing. In 2005, a new employee brought up concerns about fuel economy figures being made up. This was brushed off by managers. Six years later, a compliance survey addressing other falsifications were not brought to Mitsubishi executives.
“The problem is not only with the testing, certification, or the development department. It’s a collective failure of Mitsubishi Motors as a whole, starting from the management,” said Yoshiro Sakata, one of the investigators appointed by the company at a briefing yesterday.
“I take the panel’s recommendation seriously,” Mitsubishi Motors Chairman Osamu Masuko in a statement.
“The efforts we’ve been making since I took over in 2005 haven’t been enough.”
The investigators made a number of recommendations to prevent something like this from happening again. They include,
- Revamping development
- Making vehicle certification department independent from the research and development department
- Restructure the organization structure
- Being more transparent
- Understanding laws
- Be willing to find and tackle violations