The news constantly features malfunctioning vehicles whenever they spot one. But when it’s a pretty severe case, such as the recent Montero Sport incidents, the local car scene gets a massive shock. To think that the model in question is a powerful and prestigious SUV from a widely trusted brand is unbelievable – to say the least!
If you haven’t yet seen it on TV, heard it on the radio or by word of mouth, or read about it on newspapers or social media, then it’s high time you should! Whether you’re clueless about what happened or have your own preconceptions about the issue, biased or otherwise, calm your u-bolts; read on first and decide later on.
On November 25, 2015, ABS-CBN’s nightly news show TV Patrol aired a footage of a Mitsubishi Montero Sport suddenly accelerating before it can park. As it backed up, it suddenly picked up speed and hit three parked motorcycles behind it, before rushing forward and colliding with two parked cars.
Since then, it has become viral on social media, stirring a lot of controversy in the world of car manufacturers and users. It has also prompted government agencies and local car authority magazine Top Gear to investigate about the matter.
Top Gear was able to interview the driver of the Mitsubishi Montero Sport. The following is a purely English translation of his testimony about what happened:
“I suddenly heard a loud engine noise – it sounded really angry. I did everything. I stepped on the brake pedal, and then engaged the handbrake, but nothing happened. It continued to accelerate. The vehicle was possessed by the devil. I thought it was already the end for me.”
A lot of people, however, did not seem to believe the driver’s account. According to them, he probably didn’t step on the brakes, as the brake lights did not turn on. And according to Top Gear’s print associate editor Paulo Subido, the brake lights should’ve come on if the driver did step on the brakes – even if the brakes malfunctioned. Because according to him, the brake pedal activates a switch that turns on the brake lights. This is independent of the brake’s hydraulic system, so it should function regardless of whether the actual brakes function or not.
There were those, however, who took the side of the Montero Sport driver, as they claimed that they also experienced sudden unintended acceleration while using the vehicle. Gathering at the Department of Trade and Industry on December 2, they told their respective similar incidents with the Montero Sport, which led to damages to property and even deaths, to trade officials. These complainants are demanding Mitsubishi to halt the production of the Montero Sport.
In response, the DTI has created a probe that will get to the bottom of the issue. The panelists will representatives from the Institute of Electronics Engineers of the Philippines, Automobile Association of the Philippines, Science and Technology Department, and National Consumer Welfare Council.
So, what do you think really happened? Was it driver error or a faulty model? Is there a need for more facts and expert opinion before making a more educated verdict? Let us know in the comments.