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Despite Top Gear defense, House leader asks Mitsubishi to recall ‘defective’ Montero

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The chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development on Thursday urged Mitsubishi Philippines to adhere to the time-honored total quality management (TQM) principles and recall its “defective” Montero vehicles in the market.

In a statement, Rep. Winnie Castelo of Quezon City, chairman of the panel, said that he did not see any reason why the Mitsubishi Philippines subsidiary would refuse to TQM principles, which have made Japan a successful global economic powerhouse.

“My understanding of the Japanese version of TQM principles is that Japanese firms would readily recall the defective commodities they have sold in the market, or, at least replace them. Consumer satisfaction is the primary consideration,” Castelo said.

“Japanese firms have gained global prominence for offering superior products at competitive prices. This is the anchor of their business dominance in the world,” he added.

In a recent public hearing at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Mitsubishi lawyers cited legal technicalities for the subsidiary’s refusal to recall those Montero units, saying it was the Mitsubishi subsidiary in Thailand, not the Philippines, which produced those defective units here.

But Castelo said that “my perception of most Japanese firms is that they are very sensitive when it comes to reputation. They would always protect their corporate reputation and, of course, the brands they carry.”

Last week, Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares already filed a resolution calling for an investigation against Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. following the reported unintended sudden acceleration (USA) incidents involving Mitsubishi Montero Sport utility vehicles.

Meanwhile, Top Gear magazine came under fire from netizens after it said that “unintended sudden acceleration doesn’t exist” despite admission of Mitsubishi that there were 97 reported cases of unintended sudden acceleration.

Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. is one of the biggest advertisers in the country.

“Ano ba yan Top Gear? halatang may pinapanigan ka eh. . wag ganun. . be neutral,” one netizen posted on the Facebook page of Top Gear.

A netizen also said “Top Gear to the rescue! Magkano?”

“Top Gear tagapagtangol ng Mitshubishi,” another netizen added.

The Top Gear, however, said that “Nobody paid or asked us to write or post anything. . .we don’t accept bribe to write stuff.”