Nissan Motor Company is reportedly investing 200 billion yen ($1.84 billion) to acquire a 34% controlling stake in embattled Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC), the latter having been rocked by a scandal involving falsified fuel-economy ratings.
The talks between the two automakers are now in the final stages according to Japanese broadcast network NHK through an insider who wished anonymity.
Last month, Mitsubishi Motors admitted that its employees manipulated fuel economy data in four mini-car models. Company president and COO Tetsuro Aikawa personally led the company to apologize for the wrongdoing and promised to conduct further investigation into the matter.
In a press briefing Wednesday at the Japanese Transport Ministry, Chairman Osamu Masuko nine more models may be affected by the fuel-economy issue, including the RVR crossover. But they will still conduct proper tests to further conclude results. Masuko reassured that models sold overseas are properly tested and expects no impact on overseas sales.
As promised, Mitsubishi Motors has established a third-party panel to investigate the false fuel-economy labeling. They are expected to take three months to complete their findings. The committee is composed of three lawyers, including a former member of the Tokyo High Prosecutors Office.
Mitsubishi Motors will be compensating affected customers for the fuel cost difference in affected mini-car models. It will only cover owners of the four initial models in question, however. This was revealed by Aikawa on Wednesday.
Vehicle sales and its share prices have since plunged after news of the scandal broke out three weeks ago. Masuko stated that Mitsubishi Motors plans to solve the crisis on its own. It has not sought support from other Mitsubishi group of companies. The chairman of the company said they should be able to handle compensation with their own resources.