A few days ago, a Toyota Land Cruiser 200 that supposedly failed the noise test with a reading of 655.2 decibels at the Private Motor Vehicle Inspection Center (PMVIC) in Cabanatuan made rounds on the internet. The post was pounced on in social media, understandably causing an uproar among motor vehicle owners over the implementation of the Motor Vehicle Inspection System or MVIS.
We were able to speak to one of the members of the association of PMVICs, and we were able to obtain the retest of the vehicle from the PMVIC in question. The retest showed the passing reading of 79.6 decibels, and that the vehicle in question was able to be registered. The explanation was that there was an error in the system, and the PMVIC will contact the supplier of the equipment to verify and inspect.
There is one more twist to the story: and it comes not from the PMVIC, but from the actual owner of the Toyota Land Cruiser that was the subject of the MVIS, who we were able to speak with over the phone.
The vehicle owner recounts that their family driver brought the car for MVIS as a requirement for registration renewal, was informed that the vehicle had failed, and that they would retest right away and for free. When they retested, the correct passing reading came up and everything was sorted out. The owner says that the driver then brought the vehicle straight to the local Land Transportation Office (LTO) for registration renewal, and that was the end of the process.
The owner says that if they had a problem with the PMVIC in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, they would have contacted the owner (whom they also know) and would never have plastered it all over social media.
Yet what surprised them was the uproar that happened over the erroneous 655.2 decibel test. According to the vehicle owner, they did not post anything on social media at all. The owner says that they never posted the photo of the Motor Vehicle Inspection System Report (MVISR) showing the failed sound test. The owner also asserts that the driver couldn't have posted it either; he doesn't have a social media account.
When they did check the Facebook page that posted the test they saw the original test result as well as a photo of a white Toyota Land Cruiser 200. The issue they have, however, is that the photo of the Land Cruiser wasn't their car, but was published to make it appear as though it may have been.
The photo we're referring to is the one above which has text sprawled all over it calling for a protest in the form of a noise barrage. They want motorists to honk their horns in front of the PMVICs, the LTO central office, and even in front of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) office which would be in Clark. The supposed noise barrage took place earlier today.
After a second look, the Land Cruiser posted by that page appears to be right-hand drive. The photo was clearly not taken in the Philippines. It seems like this LC200 was in Australia given the RHD configuration as well as the shape and design of the plates on the vehicles in the background. Another indicator is what appears to be a P-plate on the rear glass of the Volvo C30, indicating it was being driven by a newly-licensed probationary driver.
The Facebook page that posted about the test and the photo of the Land Cruiser shows a lot of posts against PMVICs in favor of retaining the older Private Emission Testing Center (PETC) system for vehicle registration. The DOTr has been strict on PETCs in the last couple of years when they discovered several irregularities such as faked emissions tests that involved photo editing software.
PMVICs are clearly experiencing birthing pains, much to the frustration of motorists. As to how it can be fixed, that remains to be seen. What we do know is that PMVICs are working on solutions to prevent erroneous readings and faulty tests, especially ones that can be costly... like damaging expensive components in a vehicle due to a lack of training.
As for who shared the test with the Facebook page, the owner says it is unclear. The vehicle was brought directly to their local LTO branch for registration right after the retest. The owner of the Land Cruiser says they have already spoken to their lawyers for their next steps and are calling for an investigation on who leaked the test.