Subaru found cheating on fuel-economy and emissions tests

2018 Subaru Crosstrek 23.JPG
2018 Subaru Crosstrek (Sinclair Broadcast Group / Jill Ciminillo)

Subaru buyers care about the environment. They buy Subarus to get outdoors, and to spend time hiking, biking, skiing, and going to the beach. At least they dream of having time to do those things.

The fuel economy and emissions of their cars are a sensitive issue for these buyers, so the company could be particularly hard-hit following an investigation into falsifying results fuel economy and emissions results on tests in Japan.

Japan began investigating the company last year for falsifying fuel-economy and emissions reports at its two factories in the country, and Subaru has now confirmed that final testing data was manipulated on more than 900 cars going back to 2002, according to Carscoops.

The company confirmed that such cheating had been going on since at least 2012, but said it could not find data from before that year.

When the investigation was announced, the company's investors demonstrated how much they care about fuel economy and emissions, lopping 8 percent off the company's share price.

READ THIS: Hyundai, Kia To Pay $300 Million For Gas-Mileage Testing Errors (2014)

Although employees were caught falsifying numbers, Subaru says no recall will be needed, because the company's internal standards are stricter than what the government requires.

The company said its training of inspectors may have been inadequate, that senior inspectors ordered junior workers to alter the data and passed down these procedures to newer employees, and that some data was falsified to minimize variance in the tests, even when that meant lowering fuel economy results for cars that tested better than the norm.

It's not clear whether the cheating affected any U.S. models or EPA fuel-economy ratings. The problem is similar to those that affected Ford and Hyundai in 2014.

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