— Subaru says it is investigating claims its cars were sold with false mileage claims, a revelation that appeared after the automaker announced uncertified workers were used for final inspections of cars before they were sold in Japan.
Outside investigators were brought in to check records for final inspections and it's those investigators who discovered the alleged fuel economy falsifications.
Although the fuel economy problem wouldn't be considered a safety issue, Subaru is already feeling heat from its admission that final inspections of its new cars were illegal. In addition to looking bad to Japanese regulators and the public, Subaru will likely have the added expense of recalling about 250,000 vehicles.
Currently all the vehicles that may possibly have incorrect mileage estimates are in Japan, but Subaru is working to verify if any exported vehicles were affected by incorrect fuel economy readings, and how falsified data was used.
Subaru's stock had already dropped after the revelations of using uncertified final inspectors, then dropped 10 percent when word went out about the possible mileage fraud.
Japan's automakers have faced close scrutiny the past few years due to falsifying various documents. Mitsubishi saw trouble when it finally admitted the past 25 years were spent cheating fuel economy standards in Japan, causing the automaker to lose about $3.2 billion in market value.
Nissan also had similar trouble to Subaru due to using uncertified inspectors for final inspections of its cars before being sold in Japan.
Then there is Suzuki, a company that admitted it sold more than 2 million cars with the wrong fuel economy estimates for six years, but that it all occurred without intentional actions by the automaker. Suzuki blamed the problem on “discrepancies” in its testing procedures.