DTI to probe ‘sudden acceleration’ complaints vs Montero Sport

November 27,2015

Mitsubishi Montero SportThe Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has formed a team to investigate the reported “sudden and unintended acceleration” incidents involving a car model manufactured by the Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC).

The DTI, in accordance with Republic Act No. 7394, or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, appointed a panel composed of three trade officials who are to initiate an investigation on the reported  incidents involving the Mitsubishi Montero covering the period 2010 to 2015.

According to Memorandum Order No. 15-2580 issued on Nov. 25, the team is expected to issue notices within 48 hours from its issuance to seek inputs and comments of all stakeholders, said Trade Undersecretary Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba.

The team is also expected to submit a report and recommendations in two weeks, including the issuance of the appropriate order for the mandatory product recall, prohibition, or seizure from public sale or distribution of the car model, he added.

Froilan Dytianquin, first vice president for marketing of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp., meanwhile, said that the company has already conducted a number of extensive testings and investigations of the reported incidents and the results have shown that the Montero Sport remains to be safe for use.

“We welcome the move by the DTI. We were supposed to have a press conference this Friday to show the results of our investigation in the latest case involving the sudden and unintended accelerations. We were able to get in touch with the complainant who allowed us to check his unit. We will come out with the findings by next week,” Dytianquin said in a phone interview.

“We stand firm that there is nothing wrong with the Montero Sport. It’s a safe vehicle and we have tested it. We have already addressed some 97 cases here and for all the testings and investigations we’ve done, the results showed that there were no defects as far as the electronics and mechanical are concerned,” he said.

According to Dytianquin, they have even involved the MMC of Japan, which has already conducted extensive testing and investigation of all submitted claims of unintended acceleration, in the absence of an automotive third party testing facility in the Philippines.

“We started selling the Montero in the Philippines in 2008. And this model, which is produced in Thailand, is being sold in more than 90 countries. Except for five isolated cases in Australia and New Zealand, there were no incidents of unintended acceleration elsewhere, except the Philippines,” Dytianquin said.

“In terms of having same specifications, the same model being sold in the Philippines is also being distributed in Asean countries like Thailand and Indonesia. There were no other incidents reported in these countries, except the Philippines, that’s why even our principals in Japan are puzzled by these developments,” he added. -Amy R. Remo

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