Thursday, December 10, 2015

Even the Philippine Senate wants to investigate the Mitsubishi Montero Sport sudden unintended acceleration incidents

It seems the Philipine Senate wants to get in on the action on the Mitsubishi Montero Sport's sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) incidents as Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III has filed Senate Resolution No. 1671 which seeks to have the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship conduct an inquiry on the matter "a policy of the State to protect the interests of consumers from trade malpractices and from substandard or hazardous."



In the resolution Pimentel filed, he noted instances where government officials personally experienced the SUA "phenomenon." In 2010, Rebecca Arambulo-Barbo, wife of former Eastern Samar governor and Senate secretary Lutgardo Barbo, was reportedly backing up her Montero Sport on the driveway in the family's house when it suddenly accelerated forward while on reverse gear, bumping the family's other car. On October 24 of this year, a member of Pimentel's staff, Casiano Flores Jr. was also backing up his Montero Sport from a restaurant when it quickly accelerated and crashed into a wall despite his stepping on the brakes, resulting in serious head injuries and fractures on his right leg. And then there's retired Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Engr. Bernardino Bernardo and his wife Avelina who, on November 10 of this year as well, experienced their Montero Sport speed up without the accelerator being stepped on, colliding with two motorcycles and a tricycle which were parked in front of the SUV in the process and a car on a vacant lot that Bernardo supposedly swerved to to avoid injuring people.

Although Mitsubishi Motors Philippines has repeatedly said that its own tests conducted from 2011 on units that allegedly experienced the problem did not yield a single manifestation of the SUA claims, Pimentel pointed out that several complaints on the issue still continue to surface.

According to Pimentel, it is Congress' responsibility "to determine if there is a need to enhance, modify, or amend existing legislation to guarantee that automotive units assembled and manufactured here, as well as the quality of spare parts imported, are at par with regional and global safety and performance standards."

Should the Senate really get involved in the issue as well or is it enough that the Department of Trade and Industry is already looking into it?

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