Published on June 1st, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
Suzuki Motor Admits to Improper Fuel-Efficiency Testing
Suzuki yesterday admitted to using unapproved testing methods with regards to the fuel efficiency of some of their vehicles.
Attached here is their report to the Japanese Ministry of Land Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.
“We deeply apologise for the improper conduct in application of driving resistance, different from regulations by MLIT. As a result of further investigation to clarify the whole situation, an error was found in our previous report dated 18th May, which we report together herein.
We express our deep apologies to our customers, clients and all stakeholders for any inconveniences and concerns caused.
Meanwhile, we confirm that the issue does not apply to our products sold outside Japan.
(1) Models using application data of driving resistance obtained through method different from the method regulated
Among the 16 models in the current line-up, “Jimny”, “Jimny Sierra” and “Escudo 2.4” were not concerned. In addition to the remaining 13 models, “Alto Eco” (Start of Sales: December 2011, End of Production: November 2014) out of discontinued models, together with 12 models supplied to other manufacturers as OEM totalling to 26 models were discovered using driving resistance data measured by individual components and resistance factors.
We apologise for this error in the models concerned, and would like to correct herewith.
(2) Causes for using the measurement process different from method regulated
In order to correspond to fuel efficiency regulations strengthening worldwide, Suzuki had been developing a method to measure the resistance of each component and resistance factors. By 2010, Suzuki was able to predict driving resistance data of the coasting test to a certain degree of accuracy through accumulating the measurement of individual components and resistance factors.
Meanwhile, after the global financial crisis of 2008 caused by the bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers, the increased workload of developing new models and engines led Suzuki to be unable to allocate sufficient manpower for the coasting test, and in addition, failed to invest in necessary infrastructure for the coasting test as well as to make efforts to improve testing technology.
Due to the above circumstances, Suzuki failed to measure driving resistance through the coasting test with the type approval vehicle as was regulated by the MLIT, and was using driving resistance data accumulated from actual measurement of individual components and resistance factors at the time of type approval application.
(3) Basis for reporting that there is no impact on fuel efficiency
Driving resistance data by accumulated measurements of individual components and resistance factors consist of actual measurement using mass production components. During the development stage, verification through the coasting test was carried out with prototype equipped with mass production equivalent components and therefore, we consider the data itself is correct.
Also, in the course of our internal investigation on related documents and interview with related people, it was confirmed that there were no intentions to wrongly manipulate fuel consumption.
Meanwhile, we conducted our own fuel consumption tests on the most fuel efficient grade of each of the 14 models (26 models including OEM vehicles), using driving resistance data measured through the coasting test. The test confirmed that all models exceeded the fuel consumption data mentioned in the catalogue.”