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'& INDUSTRY PHILIPPINES. DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY CONSUMER PROTECTION GROUP INVESTIGATING PANEL Makati City IN RE: INVESTIGATION REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION/S ON THE “SUDDEN AND UNINTENDED ACCELERATION” (SUA) OF MITSUBISH| MONTERO AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION I. PREFATORY STATEMENT “Absence of proof is not proof of absence.” William Cowper From 2009 up to present, there have been alleged recurring incidents of “Sudden and Unintended Acceleration" (SUA) in the Philippines involving the Mitsubishi Montero Sport ‘Automatic Transmission (A/T) belonging to the Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) segment. Of these incidents, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) received ten (10) consumer complaints wherein four (4) of which were dismissed while two (2) remain pending final resolution Pertinently, sometime in 10 November 2015, a complainant in the person of Mr. Bernardino Bernardo reported the incident to the media and broke the news that his 2009 Mitsubishi Montero A/T had, because of a SUA, “flipped over" that, as a consequence, seriously injured his wife and damaged several motorcycles, among others*, It is for this reason that, by virtue of a Memorandum Order No. 15-2580, the DTI Consumer Protection Group constituted the creation of an Investigating Panel ("Panel") composed of Director Anselmo B. Adriano, Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB), Director Ann Claire C. Cabochan, Bureau of Philippine Standards (BPS), and Director Danilo B. Enriquez, Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) to look into the allegations of such incidents covering the period of 2010-2015. Further, the Panel is tasked to submit a report and recommendation in two (2) weeks, including, whenever applicable, the issuance of * Sudden unintended acceleration or SUA refers to the occurrence of any degree of acceleration that the vehicle driver did not purposely cause to occur. As used in this report, it encompasses sudden acceleration as well as incidents at higher speeds, and incidents where brakes were partially or totally ineffective, including occurrences such as pedal entrapment by floor mats at full throttle and high speeds and incidents of lesser throttle openings at various speeds. Technical Assessment of Toyota Electronic Throttfe Control (ETC) Systems Report, US Department of Transportation, National Highway Trafic Safety ‘Administration, February 2011 * Position paper, complainants, Exhibit A, Annex °C”. * ae ‘appropriate order for its mandatory recall, prohibition or seizure from public sale or distribution of the subject product, under such terms and conditions. Thus, in the interest of public service, and taking into account the assurance of public safety as the paramount consideration pursuant to Article 2(a) of RA 7394, the DTI conducted the following investigations: 1. On 02 December 2015, an initial Panel Investigation was conducted at the Consumer Protection and Advocacy Bureau (CPAB), 2/F DTI Building, 361 Sen, Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City. The purpose of the investigation is to gather information in order to determine the cause of the SUA ‘phenomenon’ and to establish the particular Person/entity to whom/which the SUA is attributable. However, the investigation proceeding was not restricted to the parties to whom the notices were sent but the said proceeding was made open to the public as well as to the media to fully witness the same. Experts from the government, academe, and the private sector likewise attended ‘the hearing. On even date, Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corporation (MMPC) submitted a Position Paper’ to the Investigating Panel, through its Secretariat 2. On 04 December 2015, an MMPG Plant Visit in Sta. Rosa, Laguna was conducted by ‘the Panel to check Mitsubishi's Onboard Diagnostic equipment and its functions, as well ‘as to test any possible errors in the engine. Said visit included actual demonstration and ‘test drive of a Mitsubishi Montero variant. 3. On 07 December 2015, complainants ATTY. CHARLIE TUMARU, ENGR. BERNARDINO BERNARDO, BENTY S. TAN, ANNE SIRIKIT DEL MUNDO, IRMA DELFIN, RODERICK SY, DARRY OBORDO, GEMMA GREGORIO, MANUEL CASTANEDA, REYNALD 0. PILAR, ROLINA BORRES, SELYNA SIENA, JESUS. MANUBAY, DELFIN GARCIA, HENRY ANISCO, JR. JULIA AGUILA, BERNRDINA CAPANGYARIHAN, LERMA DE VILLA-SUDAR, PAULINE GABALDON CO, PROSPERO BERANGO, ALAN BARONA, JOSE MA. ANTONIO PADUA, JAYSON DE. MESA, and GABRIEL DOMINGUEZ, by counsel, filed their joint Position Paper. 4. On 09 December 2015, the Panel met with Experts (Engr. Enrico Belmonte and Mr. Jake Arellano) and MMPC representatives, including the latter's counsels, to discuss the said experts’ hypothesis/postulates which could be the cause for SUA. Engr. Belmonte postulated the Venturi effect on the intercooler as a possible cause for the SUA. Mr. Atellano, on the other hand, suggested, among others, that an oil leak in the intake manifold may also be a possible cause. It was also agreed during said meeting that the hypothesis/postulates would be subjected to actual testing on a SUA-related Montero unit. S. On 10 December 2015, the Panel, upon the suggestion of Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Mario G. Montejo, met with DOST to discuss the possibility of using the DOST's equipment (Electromagnetic Compatibility) at its Electronics Product Development Center (EPDC) including the mode of assistance it can extend to the investigation. The MMPC was invited to attend the said meeting. However, as of the moment, DOST’s laboratory is only capable of testing for electromagnetic emission and not for immunity. ay, * Exhibit 6. On 11 December 2015, the Panel proceeded to the inspection and testing of two (2) SUA-related Mitsubishi Montero units at DCT Holdings and Motor Services Corporation in Balintawak, Quezon City, to test the experts’ (Engr. Belmonte and Mr. Arellano) hypothesis/postulates. 7. On 18 December 2015, MMPC presented its own experts in the persons of Akinori Ishibashi, Osamu Tomita, and Hiroyuki Tanaka, all from Mitsubishi Japan. Said Japanese experts presented to the Panel the tests conducted by Mitsubishi Japan on November 2011 on a SUA-related Montero vehicle. The tests included EMS (both for emission and immunity) and static electricity. I, DISCUSSIONS ON THE FINDINGS OF THE INVESTIGATIONS 1, DECEMBER 2, 2015 INITIAL PANEL INVESTIGATION A, Complainants’ Position Paper Based on the narration of events. by the complainants who allegedly experienced the SUA of their respective Mitsubishi Montero A/T, their specific demands, Jnter alia, are set forth hereunder: 1 They wanted MMPC to buy back their own respective Mitsubishi Montero vehicles. 2 They wanted to avail of the benefits of the law. 3 Since it involves public safety, they wanted MMPC to acknowledge that indeed there exists a defect in their vehicle and for the latter to render public apology, 4. MMPC is asked to remedy the current situation. 5. They wanted DTI to recall all Montero Sports Automatic vehicles and ban the same from the market, and require or order MMPC to stop selling the subject vehicles. In their Position Paper, the complainants put forth the possible causes of “SUA’, to wit 1. That there might be a glitz or fault in the fuel system of the Montero Sports; 2, That considering the fuel system of the Montero which mainly operates through electronic components, it is possible that “SUA” is caused by electronic interference; and, 3. That sensors in the transmission might possibly be giving a wreng signal to the pedal sensor or to the “ECU” which provide uncontrollable volume of fuel to the combustion chamber of the vehicle. In view of the above, the Complainants proposed to MMPC a solution to the SUA, viz: 1, That MMPC should recognize that there is an unknown cause that result in SUA; 3 of