Mitsubishi president to step down over fuel data scam

Tokyo, May 18 (IANS) Japanese automobile giant, Mitsubishi Motors’ President Tetsuro Aikawa will step down from his position following a fuel economy data scam affecting at least four models of the company’s mini-cars, officials said on Wednesday.

According to state-run business daily Nikkei, company CEO Osamu Masuko will step in as interim president. He will hold both positions until the completion of stake acquisition announced last week.

In the acquisition, Japanese automotive manufacturer Nissan Motor will take 34 percent stake of Mitsubishi and become its largest shareholder while aiming to resurrect the brand’s prestige after the scandal.

Last April, the company admitted that it had manipulated fuel consumption data of 625,000 units of four mini-vehicle models (those with engines of less than 660 cubic cm) sold in Japan.

In the course of investigation, the company said that the manipulation was also extended to other models, although the overall scope of the case is still unknown, EFE news reported.

According to officials, Aikawa’s resignation is possibly due to the fact he began his career in the product development unit, in which the data manipulation originated.

The company is scheduled to submit a new report on the scandal to the Japanese transport ministry later on Wednesday.

Aikawa is expected to leave around July when the independent commission responsible for investigation intends to present a final report.

–IANS

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