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Mitsubishi Montero



  • dmac8dmac8 Posts: 54
    At a minimum, I'd wait several days, maybe a week, before laying out the cash. There are still rational reasons to buy the Monte but the price, at least in the short term, will take a hit.

    The worst effect of this CR article is going to be on resale value. Paying a price to a dealer that doesn't reflect this enormous dose of bad publicity would not be prudent.

    But you can be sure, a lot of people who were put off by the price, will buy if Mitsu has to slash it.

    Just remember, if they do, after you buy, it's unlikely they'll reward you for it!
  • rjlimrjlim Posts: 30
    My sister owns 5 Pajero's for the last 10 years, and she lives in NT Australia. They go out from there city to drive to the nearest major city, like Darwin, Townsville, or Cairnes. And once a year, they go south, to Sydney or Melbourne. When I was there, we went to Darwin from Gove, where they live, and as far as I can tell, going off roading from Gove to Darwin, was a good experience. That was my first time off roading, and I was a bit scared the first time, 'coz sometimes, only two of the wheels are on the ground. My brother-in-law, told me that they never had any problems with there Pajero, As a matter of fact, from there town, Gove, 45% owns Pajero, and one of his friends, have a Toyota 4 runner, rolled over. I currently own an ML now, just because the dealer had given me a good deal, but as far as getting an SUV, Montero would still be the second choice on my list.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    that sells SUVs in the USA know that their vehicle will, at some point, be tested by CR. If Mitsu had subjected the Montero to the CR test, they would found this out well ahead of time, and a fix would have occurred.

    The issue is not whether CR's test is valid or not. The issue is that that Mitsu should have predicted this might happen before the vehicle ever went on sale in the USA.

    Everybody knows that SUVs, as a class, have higher centers of gravity, and are more likely to roll over than a car. You would think that any company that wants to sell one here would take every reasonable precaution, by putting the vehicle through tests—even those like CR's, which they may disagree with.

    It's pretty much a "given" that CR is going to test the vehicle, so to me it's in their best interest to put it through the CR tests too.

  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Interesting and educated debate on this forum; it seems to be one of the more purposeful ones around, thanks.
    About the Montero/CU report.. although I'm always skeptical of such negative bad Press, after seeing the videos, which clearly show the Nissan Pathfinder at an indicated 40mph negotiate the manuver with no problems, I feel that allegaing that CU's testing is "unscientific" skirts the issue at hand... Since CU started testing SUVs, Pickups, and Minivans on their tighter Emergency Handling course designed specifically to test the stability of these vehicles, only 3 vehicles out of 118 tested demonstrated such tipping tendencies. Is CU sensational in its warning? Perhaps, but I don't feel they are unmerited. Support: In the Dec 2000 issue of Car and Driver Magazine, the Montero was criticized for poor handling characteristics... "bottom feeder handling" was one of the "Lows" C/D listed in its Verdict section.

    Side Note- When I first got my driver's license three years ago, I experienced first hand the "moose" manuver (as it is called in Europe...) Driving in the right lane of a 3 lane hwy in NJ at about 50, I was forced to swerve hard left to avoid some dumbass who pulled out from a shopping center into my lane. I had to then swerve hard right (at a slower speed b/c I slammed the brakes) b/c there was now a car directly in my way. (Looking back, maybe I could have gone one more lane over to the left, but I dont even recall if someone was in that lane or not.. it happened fast) Anyway, I was in a 97 Camry, I was shakin like a wet dog afterwards, and I thanked God I wasnt in any SUV.

    Questions I have for the rest of you..
    Do you think the Monteros results would have been different if the brakes were applied hard at the beginning of the manuver?
    Do you think the Montero would have negotiated the manuver with no problems if a stability control system was available?

    Thanks for your time.
  • sergio6sergio6 Posts: 20
    First. As Bob puts it, Mitsubishi should have "put the Montero through the CR test ahead of time." Clearly, Mitsubishi is at fault in not putting their trucks through basic rollover test as that of the avoidance maneuver.
    Second. When the customer buys a new Montero, he/she assumes it has the same handling characteristics as previous Montero models. Therefore, not delivering the same characteristics would be at least misrepresentation or even false advertising.
    Third, lemmon lawsuits are a given if the vehicle fails three times. The Montero has failed 8 out of 9 tests. Does the consumer have to personally experience this failure three times to be elegible for compensation.
    Once would be enough to kill.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    I'm a big fan of the new Montero. Here we finally have an excellent off-road vehicle that has IFS/IRS, something I have long waited to see. So my kudos to Mitsu for being the first mass-market company to do so. Some may argue the Mercedes ML was the first, but everything I've read to date indicates the Montero is a much better off-road vehicle than the ML.

    I'm also very surprised and sorry to read these roll over reports from CR, as everyone else here is too.

    Having said that, if, as I stated earlier, Mitsu didn't duplicate the CR tests beforehand—shame on them. They have nobody to blame but themselves.

    CR, right or wrong, carries a lot of weight when it comes to buyers making decisions. Mitsu should have done their own testing (which I'm sure they did), but they also should have catered to CR, knowing full well the test may (or may not) be flawed.

  • conman2000conman2000 Posts: 158
    They have always favored cars because cars are designed to get you from point A to point B safely. CR does not take into affect the other population(which is getting bigger) Off-road drivers. Noticed how only the very capable off-road SUVs failed(Suzuki, Isuzu, and Mitsu)?!? :) I guess that is why there are sooooo many SUV "cars" out there(Rav4, Aztek, etc).
    True, the easy fix for any high clearance SUV is to lower it, but will defeat the purpose of an SUV. That is why there are so many models of SUV, people who want mini-van replacements can get the Rav4/highlander, and those who want Trucks, get the 4Runner, etc., etc.
    The new Montero was on my list of SUVs myself because it was a capable off-roader.
    I guess I have to live with my 01 Trooper(the other tipper) that can really be taken off-road(a few times already too!). ;)

    2001 Trooper LS 4x4 with 8+ inches of ground clearance which CR hates!

    BTW, Former Suzuki owner too! ;)
  • conman2000conman2000 Posts: 158
    BTW, remeber there was a report(I don't remember who) out that said all Pickup trucks are unsafe because when the bed is empty, they flip over too easy? Because this affected all manufatures, The report seemed to have fallen off the radar very quickly.......hmmmmmmmm......... ;) Who killed JFK?!? :)

    2001 Trooper LS 4x4
  • counselor2counselor2 Posts: 47
    Let me address your question about a lawsuit. I defend a major auto manufacturer (NOT Mitsubishi) in the type of lawsuits that you mention. Generally, we have been very successful in getting class-action lawsuits dismissed where the owners of vehicles are claiming that the vehicle, in general, has exhibited a tendency to fail to perform properly (i.e., others have had problems resulting in injuries), but where the people suing have never themselves experienced a problem nor have they suffered any economic or physical harm. It varies a bit state-by-state, so that such lawsuits have a better chance of succeeding in a few states, but, generally, you are going to have a very hard time. Particularly so, here, where no one has ever been identified as having been harmed by any tendency to roll-over in sharp maneuvers. I am sure, though, that some plaintiffs' lawyer would be happy to have you as a representative plaintiff in a class-action case.

    As to what you might get out of such a lawsuit, even if you succeed, be prepared to be disappointed. No court has ever ordered a manufacturer to recall a vehicle to "fix" a potential problem; most conclude that this is the exclusive jurisdiction of NHTSA. The court that came the closest was a California state court in San Francisco, which is still considering whether to order Ford to recall 2 million vehicles to replace an ignition switch. That case is scheduled for a re-trial in the fall. What would be likely to happen, if you were even to prevail, is that each owner would get some nominal amount of money (we're talking probably hundreds of dollars here, folks) for the "decrease" in value of the truck, or to "fix" the problem. The plaintiffs' lawyers, though, would get somewhere between 15%-33% of the entire class recovery (potentially 28,000 owners nationwide x the dollar value of recovery to each plaintiff).

    I have to ask you, though, how you feel that you were deceived? CR didn't run the tests until more than one year after the 2001 Monte was on the market and after you bought your vehicle, so how could Mitsu have known what the outcome would be? You mention that they should have run the CR test themselves(and I agree that it would have been smart from a business standpoint to do so), but they didn't. Maybe your real contention is that they failed to test the vehicle properly. But that is not a "deception" type of situation. Second, you mention your "assumptions" about how the vehicle would handle. Did anyone from Mitsu ever tell you that, or did you just assume it to be true? Thank God, people can't (yet) be sued in this country for assumptions that other people make about them or their products. If someone from Mitsu (not the dealer, who is independent) told you that this is a very stable vehicle, won't roll-over, etc., but had information to the contrary, then you might have a good case. Third, are you aware of any false advertising? I haven't seen Mitsu make any claims about Monte stability in ads. I've seen ads with pictures of a Monte cruising a city street at night (it looks pretty boss), but nothing about stability during high-speed maneuvers.

    The lemon laws are not going to help you. Generally, they address situations where a consumer takes a car in to be fixed several times and the problem just can't be resolved. I would say that your only shot would be through the consumer protetion statutes that states have passed. Again, those laws vary from state-to-state, so whether you might have any shot at all will depend on where you live.

    Finally, I suggest that if you want to do something about your concerns, you raise them with NHTSA. You can look on the website ( to see how to file a complaint with NHTSA and request that they look into the Monte's performance. The back of the Monte owner's manual probably also has information on contacting NHTSA. Andy why not contact Mitsu while you're at it; maybe copy them on a letter to NHTSA. As others have suggested, maybe they will shrug it off, but you ought to at least give them the opportunity to do something.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    is to lower the center of gravity, and/or give the vehicles a wider track so that rollovers are less likely.

    We have a couple of Subarus, of which one is a Forester. As you probably know, Subaru builds their cars with boxer engines. This is ideal for an SUV, because the center of gravity is much lower with this type of engine configuration. And, yes I know the Forester is not a "true" SUV like the Montero. However, if the Montero had a boxer engine like Subaru, had a wider track, and a slightly lower body (not ground clearance—but body), I don't think we would be having this discussion.

  • cberescberes Posts: 24
    in my book. The point is-- in real-world driving (like the "moose" maneuver described in post #783) things can/do happen-- causing you to swerve. Being a safe and cautious drive is one thing (and wise)-- BUT its the other guy or the unexpected that cause you to go into defensive mode-- and perhaps unpredictably as well. This IMO is where the danger lies-- and it really irritates me that these vehicles-- once marketed as fun AND safe for families-- are still not being designed properly. A test is a test-- BUT who's to say once of us won't be called upon to make the same split-second driving decision-- one that we may live to regret.
  • cberescberes Posts: 24
    (couldn't edit my message due to posting problem)

    Just wanted to say-- call me naive, but if it can happen in the test, it CAN happen in the real world (dodging that drunken driver, child, muffler in the roadway, bucket that fell off the pickup in front of you, dog running into traffic,etc.). THAT's the real world-- and no amount of planning ahead can determine exactly how you--the driver-- will react! However, your vehicle should be designed to deal with these real-world events by staying upright, for god sake.

    Shame on Mitsubishi and any other automaker that continues to design unsafe (and apparently un-properly-tested) vehicles after all this time and all the bad press.

    And doesn't it make you mad that now-- to be safe-- you can't haul things on the Monty's roof (like that kayak, maybe)-- the very feature you may have bought this "outdoor adventure" vehicle for??

    My 2 centavos.
  • phonosphonos Posts: 204
    The test looks spectacular to most people. I do see a lot of strange things. When they test the silver one after it spun out of control the front tires produce some smokes too which means they are in full time 4WD. It might show some defect with the drive system or it just mean the viscous coupling is too good and very sensitive speed variation. I know that if I drive my truck in part time 4WD it tends to lift the inside wheels during hard cornering.

    The burn out also means the driver does not even slow down in the whole exercise. They just stomp on the throttle and let it go out of control knowing it would not roll due to the outrigger.

    The first video with the red one it shows the inside wheel raise slowly and then accelerate suddenly which means the driver are inducing the roll even more.

    Both test vehicle show it lift front wheel first which could mean they are still accelerating or just a way too stiff front torsion bar which induce oversteer like what happened.

    We don't know how heavy is the outrigger and adding the outrigger could throw the whole balance of the vehicle.

    Just my observation of the test. There are a lot of parameter involved that we don't know.
  • counselor2counselor2 Posts: 47
    Just wondering what easy "improvements" might be made to make the Monte perform better in the CR test. Stiffer springs? Stiffer shocks? Has anyone modified their suspension yet?

    BTW, did anyone hear whether the Montes that tipped up were in RWD mode? As the message that phonos posted above notes, the videos appear to show the front tires smoking as the trucks spun out, which might indicate that they were tested in full or part-time 4WD mode.
  • conman2000conman2000 Posts: 158
    IMHO, CR hates SUV because they are poor in on-road performance than cars which I agree 100%(sorry, did not state this earlier). If I wanted the best on-road safe/performing car, I would follow CR as they do very good testing for the masses. Which tends to blow my mind that people were "baited" to buying these bad performing SUVs. There must be a reason why people want Real 4x4 SUVs. Well, CR test have made manufactures to make "less tippy" "SUVs"(If we can call them SUVs). Well, we have the car based, Aztek(thanks CR!), RX300, Highlander. So why did you guys buy a Montero? I know why I bought my Trooper. IMHO, if I wanted a mini-van replacement, I would not have bought my Trooper.

    BTW, many aftermarket companies selling lowering kits for those who are using your 4x4 SUV as a minivan replacement.

  • conman2000conman2000 Posts: 158
    IIRC, the new Montero has coil springs all around the SUV. IMHO, I would assume if you lower the center of gravity, this will make it less tippy. So if you go to a custom spring shop(many of them around the country BTW) you could get shorter springs say 2" drop which should make a change in handling. Many 4x4 owners who lift their trucks go to these same places to get longer springs. Bell Tech makes lowering "kits" for some GM 4x4 SUVs and markets them to reduce rollovers. June 2001 mag had a custom Montero done by a "Tuner" by the name of James Chen and his company called Axis Sport Tuning(sorry no number or address in the article) so many you can find out if they have any suggestions.

  • sergio6sergio6 Posts: 20
    Mitsubishi already lost a lawsuit in Japan for their lack of transparency.
    Maybe it's time for them to experience what a dissapointed American consumer can do for their brand.
    Besides, of the 30,000 Monteros sold this year only 8800 have been full size Monteros so a recall/compensation would not be that onerous for them.
  • jmaterojmatero Posts: 253
    True, center of gravity is an issue here... but not the only reason the Montero tips. There are many other factors at work here. Spring rates can be changed, Shock valving adjusted, etc. One HUGE factor mentioned about involves the 4wd system. The Mitsubishi ActiveTrac system is fully electronic and allows the vehicle to drive in Full-time AWD mode. In other words, a computer decides when the front/rear engage and at what percentage. This *could* have something to do with the CU results. Just food for thought. I can say one thing... before some of you attack CU for failing the Montero... there is a possibility here that the CU test *may* have uncovered a flaw in the Mitsubishi 4wd software. If this IS the case, but failing the vehicle... and by Mitsubishi fixing the problem... CU has saved lives.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,661
    It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Mercedes might do here. As you know, their A-Class failed the "moose test" over in Sweden a couple of years ago. Their response was to stop production and fix the vehicle.

    Think MB will pressure Mitsu to do the same? That's probably the best damage control that could be done at this point.

  • dmac8dmac8 Posts: 54
    Aculex, I don't think C2 provided a diatribe, just an opinion.

    As someone who has more experience with litigation than I care to admit, allow me to say, anticipating and understanding the merits of any case exceed bravado and indignation.

    As mentioned in an earlier post, I own a 95 Land Cruiser and the Monte is on my list as a potential replacement.

    If you drove a Monte, or Land Cruiser for that matter, and were not aware of the highly compromised handling, as opposed to a car, that these vehicles exhibit, then you must have been driving a double decker bus.

    For all of the brouhaha Ford is stirring up with Firestone tires, the real disaster that is befalling some Explorer owners is when it flips.

    While there may be some problem with the tires, what you are really seeing, IMHO, are the statitistical results of a lot of people driving vehicles with a high center of gravity.

    Proportionally, the Monte may have a better record than the Explorer!

    The real deal is that if one drive around the neighborhood doesn't convince you that the Monte, and SUV's in general, need to be driven with much greater caution, then you must sell it immediately, regardless of loss.
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