Montero Sport ‘victims’ share their stories; UK expert weighs in

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Bishop Noel Alba Pantoja, one of the victims of the alleged sudden unintended acceleration problem, said his wife still trembles whenever she sees Monteros on the road.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – Victims of alleged sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) incidents on Montero Sport SUVs have turned to social media to voice their grievances and calls for action.

To date, almost 100 Montero Sport owners have filed their complaints against Mitsubishi Motors Philippines – the subject of an ongoing investigation which could result to the recall of SUVs, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Related: DTI probes alleged defect of Mitsubishi Monteros

Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas, also filed House Resolution No. 1964 to probe the SUA problem.

On April 26, complainants formed the Facebook group Mitsubishi Montero SUA Club “to inform the public of Mitsubishi Montero's Sudden Unintended Acceleration (SUA) problem.”

While property damages can be repaired, complainants said lives cannot be brought back. Some of them were nearly killed, confined in the hospital, or were travelling with their kids when the “SUA” incident happened, causing trauma for the children even months later.

Montero ‘gone wild’

Complainant Atty. Bernardino Bernardo and his wife were on their white Montero Sport in a parking lot when their car suddenly accelerated and “went wild”, rammed and dragged the parked tricycles which were completely destroyed.

To avoid further accidents, Bernardo turned to a vacant lot but failed to control his SUV despite constantly stepping on the brakes. The SUV again crashed into a public utility jeepney.

Bernardo sustained minor wounds while his wife’s arm was fractured and had to undergo operation.

This post on his Facebook account on November 10 has gained over 22,000 shares to date.

Attention mga may ari ng mga Mitsubishi Montero at sa Mitsubishi motors, buhat sa parking pag kambyo ko sa drive, pagka...

Posted by Bernardino Bernardo on Tuesday, November 10, 2015
 

Meanwhile, Bishop Noel Alba Pantoja’s wife almost died when the SUV accelerated uncontrollably while going up a dangerous curved road.

"Our concern is the safety of the Montero riders, the riding public, and effects to lives and property... Once this (SUA problem) is corrected or all the allegations are proven wrong, I will buy myself another Montero in the future," Pantoja told CNN Philippines.

Montero-Accident_2_CNNPH.png  

At first, Epi Cruz would not believe reports of SUA incidents, until he said it happened to his father on November 10.

please share:montero sports sudden unintended acceleration issue. totoo pala to. na experience ng father ko,tuesday...

Posted by Epi Cruz on Thursday, November 12, 2015
 

UK expert weighs in

An electrical engineering consultant from United Kingdom shared with CNN Philippines a report he made on an SUA incident in Wellington, New Zealand on January 20, 2012. It involved a 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander.

“As you will see, I became convinced that the poor state of charge of the battery played a part in the incident.  It could also be the case in other SA (sudden acceleration) incidents, but this is speculation,” Dr. Anthony Anderson told CNN Philippines in an e-mail.

Anderson also shared a video of an SUA involving a 2012 Toyota Highlander in California, where a Montero Sport was pulling into a parking area when it suddenly accelerated and crashed into the garage door twice.

The driver tried to control the vehicle, but ended up rotating almost 180 degrees. It only stopped when the stub axle was damaged.

 

Anderson said the incident is quite similar with one of the SUA incidents in the Philippines, in which a white Montero Sport hit three motorcycles and two cars when it suddenly accelerated.

Related: Other vehicles accused of sudden acceleration problems

The cause of the Toyota Highlander incident, like in the case of many Montero Sport incidents in the Philippines, remains unknown.

Meanwhile, in Anderson’s report, he noted that after studying SUA complaints in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) complaints database from 2007 to 2012, he found only one instance of sudden acceleration from standstill – in a Montero Sport in the Philippines.

He also cited several SUA incidents involving 2009 to 2011 models of Montero Sport in the Philippines from a blog post that has already been taken down. Here are some of the occurrences:

  • On December 16, 2010, a Montero suddenly accelerated and crashed into a parked Mercedes Benz, then side-swiped a wall and hit a palm tree in Quezon City. The air bags did not work.

  • On August 15, 2011, a Montero headed to Antipolo suddenly accelerated, narrowly missing school children.

  • On March 15, 2012, a Montero coming out from a garage suddenly accelerated ramming two cars in front of a house 15 meters away in Ayala Alabang.

Over the past 12 years, Anderson has investigated on sudden accelerations of automobiles in UK, US, France, Sweden, and New Zealand.