DTI re-opens bidding for Mitsubishi testing

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The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has re-opened the bidding for the third-party laboratory testing of Montero units of Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC), to investigate claims of sudden unintended acceleration (SUA).

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In an email forwarded to the media late Wednesday, the DTI through its Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) is inviting third-party testers to bid once again for the P9-million contract to test MMPC’s Montero units.

The first attempt at bidding out the third-party laboratory project failed last month when the lone bidder—SGS Philippines Inc., which submitted a P8.9-million bid—did not submit a document indicating completion of a similar project of not less than 50 percent of the value of the approved budget for the contract for bidding.

The authorized budget for the contract is valued at P9 million for five test samples of the Montero units, according to Trade Undersecretary Victorio Mario A. Dimagiba.

An invitation to bid notice will be posted in newspapers and the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) today, May 5.

A pre-bid conference is set on May 12, while the bids are scheduled for opening on May 26, and will be evaluated the day after, on Friday May 27.

The prospective awardee will then undergo post-qualification on June 1 to check essential documents. The notice of award is scheduled on June 6, Monday, while the contract signing is set on June 20.

Even before the bidding for the third-party laboratory, the DTI said there are two third-party experts currently working on the test plans and procedures for the Montero SUA investigation. The two started the test planning last January.

Since last year, a total of 56 complaints have been filed with the DTI concerning Montero model units manufactured between 2011 and 2015. All but five of the complaints were withdrawn last month, according to the DTI, with consumers opting instead to seek compensation from MMPC through the courts.

The DTI undersecretary earlier said that if the Montero units were found to have defects that caused SUA, MMPC may be charged with a case under the Consumer Protection Act.

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