Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) announced on Tuesday that getting a credible and completely independent third party is the best way to settle the Montero Sports sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) issue given opposing views of complainants and the vehicle’s distributor, and a reported possible recall order from the Department of Trade and Industry.
MMPC first vice president Froilan Dytianquin said MMPC and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. of Japan thoroughly evaluated all the 97 vehicles involved in alleged SUA and found nothing wrong with any of them.
Some complainants, on the other hand, remain unconvinced and have asked for a recall, and the DTI has been reported to be in favor of it.
“A recall order is issued when a defect has been found. If there is none, there is nothing to check and correct. At this point, we believe such a recall order is not called for. That is why we have been pushing for a third party to settle the issue,” Dytianquin said.
Besides, he pointed out, “that [recall]will significantly affect the businesses of our dealers and their thousands of employees and their families. The perceived solution will create unintended and even bigger problems.”
In response to the number of complaints being too many for a coincidence, Dytianquin said it is just as baffling and just not possible why it is only the Montero Sport units in the Philippines that are facing SUA allegations.
“There are zero SUA allegations in other Asean countries and they carry the same units that we have here. If there is a problem in the units, that should also manifest in the units being sold in other countries,” he explained.
The Montero Sport units in Asean are all made in Thailand.
“We will ask the DTI to take a second look at its reported inclination to order a recall. Its effect on the businesses of MMPC, its dealers, ancillary industries, their employees and even the image of the Philippines as an investment destination will be severely affected. More important, what will be its basis since there is no defect in the units?” Dytianquin said.
According to MMPC, the SUA story first came out in a blog in 2011 when Montero Sport was No. 1 in the mid-sized SUV market. It was the market leader from 2009 to 2013.
“Now that we are about to launch our all-new Montero Sport, the SUA issue suddenly cropped up again. We are not accusing anybody. We are only raising some questions because the timing of these stories is suspect,” Dytianquin said.