ONE complaint from Mandaue City against the controversial Mitsubishi Montero Sport was earlier forwarded to the Department of Trade and Industry Cebu office.
The letter dated Dec. 23 recalled the sudden unintended acceleration encountered by the complainant while driving a 2010 Montero Sport GLS.
“The vehicle suddenly accelerated and sped off without my stepping on the accelerator pedal. I stepped on the brakes but the vehicle did not stop,” the letter read. DTI-Cebu chose to keep the identity of the complainant confidential.
DTI Cebu Consumer Welfare Division Chief Zaide Bation said the letter has already been referred to the Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) in Metro Manila.
DTI 7 Director Asteria Caberte said the national office is searching for a third party assessor to investigate the issue involving the Mitsubishi Montero Sport.
In a 15-page preliminary report in December last year, DTI said it would release within 30 days the term of reference for the appointment of a third party assessor which would be tasked to conduct an “electro magnetic compatibility test” on the electronic control units (ECU) of the Montero Sport units that experienced sudden unintended acceleration.
As quoted in reports, DTI Undersecretary Victorio Mario Dimagiba said the agency would choose between German companies, Bureau Veritas or TUV. He said the government will also be paying for the test to ensure impartiality.
Meanwhile, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. (MMPC) is facing administrative complaints with FTEB filed by DTI on behalf of the 24 complainants for selling a defective product as stipulated in the Consumer Act of the Philippines.
For Cebu Montero Sport owners, Bation advised them to report any sudden unintended acceleration incidents to the DTI Cebu office so they can forward it to FTEB.
According to reports, the 24 complainants demanded individual refunds.
If a third party assessments finds defects in Montero Sport units, DTI may order MMPC to stop selling the vehicles in the Philippines or issue a product recall. They said though that until the assessment is completed, nothing is final yet.
MMPC has insisted that the Montero Sport units are not defective o unsafe.
“MMPC and its principal Mitsubishi Motors Corporation of Japan (MMC), has conducted extensive testing and investigation of all submitted claims of unintended acceleration, using current and available technology to determine the cause of said Unintended Acceleration but has not found any defects or cause directly linked to the vehicles involved,” the company said in a statement released earlier.
The company has agreed to free check-up of all units brought to their service centers.