German automaker Daimler AG is hiring an outside auditor to make sure it hasn’t cheated on emissions tests. Mitsubishi has set up an independent panel to see just how broadly it rigged its fuel economy numbers. Volkswagen has yet to release an internal report exploring the breadth of its own diesel scam.
In recent years, a veritable Who’s Who of automakers has been caught up in one scandal or another. They’ve been caught inflating mileage figures, deflating emissions numbers and, in a number of cases, covering up serious, often fatal safety problems. That includes General Motors which took a decade to order a recall for defective ignition switches now linked to at least 120 deaths.
In some cases, manufacturers have simply missed problems or failed to recognize their significance. In other instances, they have been willing to outright lie, said veteran auto analyst Joe Phillippi, of AutoTrends Consulting, considering such moves as “just the cost of doing business.”