MANILA, Philippines – Following recent complaints about the “sudden unintended acceleration” of Mitsubishi Montero units, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) advised the public to avoid using them when offered by riding services.
LTFRB Board Member Antonio Inton Jr said commuters using transport network companies (TNC) such as Uber and GrabCar should request for premium vehicles other than Mitsubishi Montero.
“May iba namang premium vehicles na ino-offer and mga TNC, siguro for their own safety, baka pwedeng ‘yun ang kanilang i-request,” Inton said on Thursday, December 3.
(TNCs offer premium vehicles [other than Montero Sport]. Maybe the [public] could just request for those.)
Inton also said that their office will study whether to suspend the provisional authority issued to new Montero units.
According to Inton, there have been more than 7,000 new applications for a transport network vehicle (TNVS) permit. At the very least, 10% of those are Montero Sport, he said.
A concerned lawyer urged LTFRB Thursday, December 3, to put on hold the approval of the applications of Montero vehicles accredited by Uber and GrabCar.
“As shown on TV and news item, said model Mitsubishi Montero Sport would suddenly accelerate very fast and run wild beyond the control of the driver thereby causing damage to properties and injuries not only to the driver but to pedestrians as well,” wrote Felizardo Tiu’s letter to LTFRB.
“[We] request your office to suspend or hold in abeyance the approval of application of Transport Network Vehicle Service.”
Tiu called for urgent action on the part of the regulatory body.
“It’s just proper to protect the riding public. You might not be using Montero Sport but if that [Montero Sport] is on the highway, then suddenly accelerates, who would stop them?” the lawyer told reporters after he filed his complaint.
The LTFRB assured the public of a speedy response to the case but also stressed that it would have to wait for the results of the Department of Trade and Industry’s investigation, which is set to be released in two weeks.
Asked about their quickest action to prevent any accident, Inton said they would ask for the TNC’s initiative to suspend their vehicle’s accreditation.
“If [Uber and GrabCar] suspend the accreditation of those Monteros within that two-week period, [it would] probably help. If the TNC will suspend the accreditation and furnish their copy to us, then we can act on that their suspension,” Inton said, noting that they cannot simply revoke the provisional authority they issued to the vehicles.
There have been reports from owners of brand-new automatic Montero Sport vehicles about supposed sudden acceleration.
Mitsubishi has denied claims that its vehicles were faulty, attributing the incidents to human error. – Rappler.com
Editor’s note: In a previous version of this story, we embedded a Top Gear video and incorrectly stated that it illustrates the “sudden acceleration” of Montero Sport units. Top Gear’s intention was to show driver error.