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Mitsubishi Motors’ Scandal Was an Accident Waiting to Happen

  • President Tetsuro Aikawa to step down to take responsibility
  • Employees describe insular culture where bad news is hidden
Updated on

It’s a familiar Japanese corporate ritual: a deep bow before the cameras to atone for wrongdoing. And when it comes to the art of public mea culpas, few companies can top scandal-prone Mitsubishi Motors Corp.

On Wednesday, President Tetsuro Aikawa announced his resignation effective June 24, to take responsibility for the automaker overstating the fuel economy of its minicars and improperly testing other models as far back as 1991. The revelations have cost the company about 35 percent, or 303 billion yen ($2.8 billion), of its market value. In another blow to the reputation of Japanese automakers, Suzuki Motor Corp. said it used measurement methods not compliant with local regulations, after the transport ministry directed other carmakers to investigate their practices.