TOKYO: Suzuki on Wednesday admitted it found “discrepancies” in its fuel-economy and emissions testing, but denied that it manipulated data to make cars seem more efficient than they were.
The remarks came after the small carmaker’s shares dived in Tokyo on reports it had used improper testing, after rival Japanese automaker Mitsubishi was hit by revelations it cheated on fuel-efficiency tests for decades.
“Any wrongdoing, such as manipulation of fuel efficiency data, were not found,” Suzuki said on Wednesday.
“Some discrepancies were found in the automobile emission and fuel-efficiency testing process” between the testing method required by the government and what Suzuki did, the company statement added.
Sixteen models and about two million cars were affected, but the problem did not extend to cars sold outside Japan, according to Suzuki, which has a major presence in India through its Maruti Suzuki unit.
Suzuki said it has been using the improper testing since 2010.
The firm’s shares dived Wednesday as investors took it as the latest bad news for a global auto industry shaken by scandals over deadly defects and emissions cheating.
Suzuki stock plunged as much as 15 percent in afternoon trading. It closed 9.4 percent lower at 2,613 yen ($24).
The Suzuki news comes amid the Mitsubishi revelations and as Germany’s Volkswagen struggles to drive past a worldwide emissions cheating scandal.
Tokyo-based auto parts giant Takata has also been hit by lawsuits and regulatory probes over claims it hid deadly airbag flaws linked to at least 13 deaths and scores of injuries globally.
Suzuki chairman Osamu Suzuki, a descendant of the company’s founding family, visited the transport ministry Wednesday to discuss the issue.
The 86-year-old executive was speaking to a news briefing Wednesday afternoon.
The transport ministry has ordered all Japan’s automakers to probe their own compliance with government testing methods after Mitsubishi admitted last month it manipulated data to make its cars seem more fuel efficient than they were.