With all the hoopla surrounding the Montero Sport, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) has issued their technical findings to address claims of Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA) on their SUV.
The so-called SUA happens when a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission allegedly moves forwards or backwards abruptly without any driver input. In most cases presented, the vehicle with passengers on board crashes into other objects such as parked cars or structures, which is a serious safety concern. This prompted MMPC and its principal Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) of Japan to conduct an in-depth investigation.
In a press conference, MMPC summarized the possible causes for a Montero Sport to run out of control, otherwise known as SUA:
- Pedal Entrapment
- Pedal Misapplication
- Mechanical / Electronic Failure
- “Sticky” Accelerator Pedal
The units involved in SUA incidents were extensively tested by MMC and MMPC, both in their local facility and technical center in Japan. But despite checking all systems (mechanical or electrical) and simulations, the investigation team found no design, mechanical, or electronic defect in their product that would result in a case of SUA.
SUA is not possible on the Montero Sport from a technical viewpoint. There are safety check systems on the Montero Sport electronics which will eventually allow the Montero Sport to go to safe mode in case sensors fail said Froilan Dytianquin, MMPC First Vice President.
Despite this, MMPC implemented several proactive measures to hopefully prevent future occurrences:
- Mandatory use of authorized floormats (April 2011)
- Installation of caution sticker for proper operation of gear shift selector (February 2012)
- Addition of Brake Override System on new models (October 2011)
- Addition of Shift Lock System on new models (September 2012)
- Nationwide free check-up (September 2011)
- Educate drivers on safe driving
The company will also offer 24/7 service hotline for customers, special case training and handling, and another round of free check-ups for the customer’s peace of mind. There is also an on-going investigation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on the Montero Sport’s SUA issue where MMPC will present their facts once more.
The Montero Sport is sold in more than 90 countries worldwide with total sales reaching 235,000 units. An estimated 88,000 of those were sold in the Philippines, 63,000 of which were equipped with a automatic transmission, making it the best-selling midsize SUV from 2009 to 2013. The 97 recorded cases of SUA, however, are all isolated in this country.