Mitsubishi calls for 3rd party to assess Montero
Mitsubishi Motor Philippines Corp. (MMPC) on Tuesday called for the engagement of a third party to look into the Montero Sport controversy, saying this was the best way to settle allegations of sudden unintended acceleration (SUA).
MMPC first vice president Froilan Dytianquin said in a statement the involvement of a credible third party was better than a product recall, which he said the Department of Trade and Industry was already apparently considering.
The company has received over the past four years complaints of SUA in connection with a total of 97 Montero Sport units, which Dytianguin said Mitsubishi Motors Corp. of Japan has evaluated.
Dytianquin noted that while Mitsubishi in Japan found nothing wrong with any of the vehicles, some complainants remain unconvinced and have asked for a recall.
“A recall order is issued when a defect has been found. If there is none, there is nothing to check and correct,” he said. “At this point, we believe such a recall order is not called for, and what would its basis be?”
“The perceived solution will create unintended and even bigger problems (as this) will significantly affect the businesses of our dealers and their thousands of employees and their families,” he added.
Still, Dytianquin said the number of complaints against the Montero Sport in the Philippines was “too many for a coincidence.” He said it is only here in the country where the vehicle faces SUA allegations.
Dytianquin also noted that allegations of SUA with the Montero Sport first came out in 2011, when the vehicle was dominating the domestic mid-size sports utility vehicle market.
“Now that we are about to launch our all-new Montero Sport, the SUA issue suddenly cropped up again,” he said. “We are not accusing anybody. We are only raising some questions because the timing of these stories is suspect.”
The Mitsubishi executive also said other markets in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) carry the same units available in the Philippines—all assembled in Thailand—but there are no similar complaints there.
“If there really is a problem with the Montero Sport, that should also manifest in the units being sold in other Asean countries,” he said.
Dytianquin earlier ruled out the potential causes of alleged SUA cases, including pedal entrapment, pedal misapplication, mechanical or electronic failure, and sticky accelerator pedal. He said these cannot occur due to the various safety features installed in the model.
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