A third party automotive investigative body tapped by Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has just released the results of its inspection and testing regarding alleged cases of sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) of 2010-2015 models of the Mitsubishi Montero Sport.
Horiba Mira Ltd., an automotive engineering company based in the United Kingdom, was contacted by Mitsubishi to investigate the matter; a process that included shipping one of the customer-owned cars to the UK. After a battery of tests that also included high levels of electromagnetic interference (EMI), Horiba Mira have released their findings that there is no technical cause that explains the incidents of SUA together with the perceived inability to stop the vehicle.
Horiba Mira started its investigation in June 2016 and released its formal findings in September 2016, which states:
“The investigation has found only one plausible root cause for sudden unintended acceleration, and inability to stop the Mitsubishi Montero Sport vehicle. Our hypothesis is that these incidents were caused by the driver mistakenly applying the accelerator, believing that they were pressing the brake pedal.
“Other root cause hypotheses have been excluded because they would require simultaneous, but temporary, malfunction of both the engine control and the vehicle braking system without fault conditions being logged by any vehicle systems and DTCs (Diagnostic Trouble Code) being recorded. Since these are independent systems, the possibility of simultaneous failure is extremely low.
“There are other potential causes for undemanded acceleration that have not been ruled out by the investigation, but none of these would affect the braking system. If such a failure occurred, the driver would still have the opportunity to control the vehicle using the brakes or by disengaging the transmission.
A suite of EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) screening tests were performed on a vehicle that had previously been involved in a SUA claim. The results showed that the vehicle is extremely resilient at very high test levels of EMI (Electromagnetic Interference). … No adverse behaviour was observed during testing with levels corresponding to EU regulations and ISO standards.”
With the third party investigation now complete, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) once again assures the public that the previous generation Montero Sport model (2010-2015) is neither defective nor unsafe to use.
MMPC President and CEO Mr. Yoshiaki Kato commented: “We are very much pleased on the outcome of the results of Horiba Mira investigation. The methodical evaluation conducted by Horiba Mira, which found no irregularities in the function and design of vehicle, is an affirmation of our earlier statement that there is nothing wrong with the Montero Sport causing SUA. We hope that the results of the investigation, will finally put an end to the SUA issue on the Montero Sport.’’
In 2015, cases of SUA with Mitsubishi Montero Sport vehicles were brought before the DTI for an investigation. The DTI released its initial report two weeks later, recommending that an independent third-party test be conducted in an attempt to replicate the incidence of SUA in laboratory conditions and determine its cause.
Unfortantely, no such facility that could safely attempt to replicate the situation was available in the Philippines. Mitsubishi had recommended its own electromagnetic anechoic chamber in its Okazaki plant in Japan. However, to ease any doubts in the complainants and consumers, the DTI recommended an independent third party should conduct the tests.
MMPC has turned over the complete results of Horiba Mira evaluation report to DTI for study and reference. The DTI has yet to release an official statement on the recent turn of events.
The full 111-page report is also available in MMPC's website and can be read here.