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Exterior view taken on January 21, 2020 shows a German plant of Japanese automaker Mitsubishi in Friedberg, western Germany. Image Credit: AFP

What is going on at Mitsubishi Motors? Back in 2016, the carmaker admitted to publishing exaggerated mileage ratings for models sold in Japan in 2016. And things have seemingly gotten worse now what with a total of 10 Mitsubishi Motors Corporation premises in Germany being raided by local prosecutors for alleged diesel emissions fraud.

Locations in North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Lower Saxony and Bavaria were searched. Prosecutors suspect foul play in tests on two types of diesel engines - the 1.6- and 2.2-litre motors - and there are concerns that the Japanese carmaker has installed software in models sold in Germany to disguise the actual amount of diesel emissions.

Prosecutors said in a statement that “there is a suspicion that the engines are equipped with a so-called shutdown device” that makes the emissions appear lower than they actually are.

The raids are the latest instance in an ongoing set of scandals — dubbed Dieselgate — over emissions cheating. In 2015, Volkswagen admitted to installing software in 11 million diesel-fuelled vehicles to pass emissions tests. The devices allowed the vehicles to emit up to 40 times the legal limit of nitrogen oxide.

Mitsubishi Motors - part of a business alliance with Renault and Nissan - does not have a manufacturing base in Germany, it imports its vehicles from abroad.

“We are currently collecting details on the matter. We will cooperate with the investigations,” Mitsubishi Motors said in a released comment.

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