Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn warned Friday the deal to buy part of Mitsubishi Motors Corporation depends on the outcome of the Japanese Transport Ministry's investigation into allegations Mitsubishi inflated the fuel-economy of its cars.
Ministry officials raided Mitsubishi's Tokyo headquarters Friday, a day after Nissan announced the $2.2 billion purchase of 34 percent of Mitsubishi.
Ghosn said Friday the deal would not be final until it is clear whether the inflated fuel data was limited to cars sold only in Japan and what the penalties would be.
Last month, Mitsubishi admitted that several of its employees exaggerated the numbers on its fuel economy data, making several models appear to get better gas mileage than they actually do.
Some of the cars that had their data manipulated showed fuel economy that was about 15 percent better than it really was.
Leaders of the two automakers appeared at a news conference Thursday in Yokohama – home of Nissan headquarters – to announce what Ghosn called a “win-win” deal.
Transport ministry officials arrive at Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s headquarters building for a raid after the company admitted to manipulating test data to overstate the fuel economy, in Tokyo, Japan, May 13, 2016.
Mitsubishi already manufactures mini-car models for Nissan that are an important part of its Japanese sales. Acquiring a major stake in Mitsubishi would also give Nissan more exposure to Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries.
Mitsubishi, the world's sixth-largest automaker, lost about half of its market value after news of the fuel-rigging scandal broke.
The company is no stranger to scandal, nearly going out of business after admitting back in 2000 that it covered up major safety defects for several decades.
Mitsubishi is the second carmaker accused of falsifying environmental data in 12 months.
Germany's Volkswagen admitted late last year that it installed software on millions of its vehicles that activated bogus emissions controls to deceive testing officials.