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Mitsubishi minicar sales extend slide in May after mileage scandal

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Mitsubishi Motors Corp's domestic minicar sales tumbled 75 per cent on the year in May, the first full month after the Japanese automaker admitted to overstating the mileage readings for ultra-compact cars it sells at home.

[TOKYO] Mitsubishi Motors Corp's domestic minicar sales tumbled 75 per cent on the year in May, the first full month after the Japanese automaker admitted to overstating the mileage readings for ultra-compact cars it sells at home.

Mini-vehicle sales also fell at Nissan Motor Co, which markets two models made by Mitsubishi, and Suzuki Motor Corp, which separately admitted late last month to using the wrong tests to calculate fuel economy.

Mitsubishi sales of mini vehicles, or "kei" cars, fell to 912 vehicles in May, monthly figures released by the Japan Light Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Association showed on Wednesday.

It was the second month of declines after the automaker in late April stopped sales of its eK Wagon and eK Space models after admitting to manipulating mileage data for those vehicles, along with two similar but separate models it produced for Nissan.

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The scandal led to a takeover of the company by Nissan last month, and the resignation of its president. Japan's transport ministry is investigating Mitsubishi over its use of non-compliant data to calculate the mileage on other vehicles.

Mini vehicle sales at Nissan, which has stopped selling its Dayz and Dayz Roox models, slumped 76.8 per cent to 3,105 vehicles in May, while sales at Suzuki fell 15.4 per cent to 38,094 vehicles.

Suzuki on Tuesday blamed a lack of resources for failing to use correct tests in Japan to calculate vehicle mileage, and reiterated its employees did not intend to manipulate fuel economy data for better readings.

REUTERS

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