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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: 19,788
    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: 19,788
    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: 19,788
    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: 206
    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: 19,788
    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.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    phonos (post 792)... how can you be certain that the production of smoke from the front tires is from full time 4x4 engagement? isn't it possible that the severe leaning of the vehicle could have caused the tires to slam into the wheelwheels, with the sudden friction resulting in smoke? also, why would 4X4 make a vehicle LESS responsive in this test, and more prone to tipping? explain the physics of that, cause I am in the dark...
    many of the parameters only glanced over in the media NBC coverage... can be read in detail at theres a huge, specific article on the how the tests were conducted, methodolgy, results, Mitsu's response, photos, diagrams, etc.
  • counselor2counselor2 Posts: 47
    I didn't tell sergio6 not to file suit, and I even told him what his most promising course was. I also told him that there are lawyers out there who will gladly take his case. In fact, I bet dollars to doughnuts that lawsuits are already in the process of being filed. People can do whatever they want, it's no skin off my nose. (In fact, the more lawsuits, the more business for lawyers, which is not a good thing in most peoples' opinions, mine included.) But, aculex, I know what the state of the law is; I argue it each and every day. Sure, it can change and has changed over the years, and unquestionably will change again. My response was a straight answer (my perspective, admittedly) to a question that sergio raised. Lawsuits, regardless of what they involve -- property purchases, medical malpractice, partnership disputes, etc. -- ought not to be filed without careful consideration; they will get very, very personal and absorb a lot of your time, energy, and, often, money.

    But enough of that. Rather than clog this board with the discussion about the merits of any potential litigation, I'd rather hear what people have to say about the truck itself and their reaction to the posts about its performance and safety.
  • Now that thousands of us are stuck with a $36,000 "unacceptable" vehicle what options do we have? Mitsu has posted nothing on their web site in regards to the failed CR test. Are they required to take standard actions to repair or recall those faulty monteros that are already on the road?
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    Mitsubishi is free to ignore the CR article and those test results since the Montero has passed the government's required tests.
    CR tests are not required to be passed, so Mitsubishi can legally look the other way and move on.
  • sergio6sergio6 Posts: 20
    With enough public pressure, they will be forced to take some action. After all protecting Mitsubishi's brand image (which includes not only autos, but also marine transport, aircraft manufacturing, shipbuilding, nuclear power engineering, waste treatment plants, satellites, defense contracting, glass, petrochemicals, oil products, beer, finance, property and casualty insurance, and warehousing, among others) would more worth to them than the comparatively minimal financial burden of 8,800 Mitsubishi Montero LTD owners.
  • bostnwhalrbostnwhalr Posts: 128
    It is very relevent if you are considering the purchase of a Montero or trying to sell one.

    We can debate the testing all day long, but the reality is that the resale value of Montero's is heading south fast, unless Mitsubishi can do a "quick fix". In the next few months, sales are going to plummet 50% or more. Their going to have to move inventory which means steep discounts. So, if you want one, wait a few months for them to collect dust on dealers' lots. You'll get a heck of deal on one.

    The Trooper suffered a similar fate in 1995-1996. They become a good used value (still to this day) and content was added to new vehicles effectively making them $4,000 cheaper by 1997.

    I recently rented a 2001 Trooper and drove 1700 miles. Great vehicle, but handling on the Merritt Parkway was a bit scary taking broad corners at posted speed limits. You have to know your limits.
  • jinjalijinjali Posts: 3
    we need to stand united and unidirectional on this issue.its not only 36k but our lives including our children.
    first of all any owner of this crap had any problems with tipping should be mentioned here on this board.
    second we need to approach nhsta on this issue and third find a good lawyer firm for further steps.
  • drew_drew_ Posts: 3,382
    FYI guys, about a year ago, a German automobile magazine while testing the Montero in the moose test managed to roll the Montero. They definitely didn't expect it and there were no outriggers fitted to their test vehicle. The driver was thankfully not hurt serious (he was wearing a helmet too). This was way before the C.R test, so I think there may be something to the test results.

    Personally, I like the Montero and wish that Mitsubishis were sold in Canada (they're just starting to get back officially into the Canadian market now). However, as others have said here, it is an emergency situation that may happen in the real world. Many claim to drive their SUVs like trucks. But how exactly can you drive like a truck when you're on the highway and there is an obstacle in your lane? You can't really. All you do is react on instinct and swerve to try to avoid the object.

    I think this is what Consumer Reports is trying to say here (same with the Trooper). That SUVs being marketed as family vehicles to the normal driver should be able to deal with real world emergency situations. 40 mph is not very fast at all and people drive much faster than that on highways. IIRC, the Trooper started tipping at about 37 mph as well. FWIW, the Audi Allroad and Volvo XC wagon did the same maneuver without knocking over any of the cones at 50.5 mph. At higher speeds they would've clipped the cones, but it probably would require quite a lot more speed before they start to roll; A lower centre of gravity definitely plays a big part here. While using a computerised steering mechanism to steer the vehicle through the emergency course would be more scientific for comparison purposes, who is to say that a driver, in the real world, won't take the same driving lines that the drivers did in C.R's tests?

    The tire smoke was caused by excessive tire scrub as the vehicle tipped onto one side and spun around. I don't think it has anything to do with the Montero's excellent full-time 4WD system, but rather the suspension calibrations. As we all know, the Montero is great off-road especially considering its 4 wheel independent setup. However, I think that this long travel suspension and great off-road handling has come at a price, and that is that it is not as competent to deal with some sudden lateral weight transfers, such as in the emergency avoidance maneuver.

    From what I saw from the videos, this is what happened. In the first video with the red Montero, it cleared the first swerved to the left where the driver cranks the wheel left to avoid an obstacle (vehicle leans hard to the left and the right side wheels lift off the ground a little). When the driver cranks the wheel back to the right and into his own lane, the weight of the vehicle has to transfer very quickly from the left to the right side. It is at this point that the Montero starts to lift its left wheels very severely. Same deal with the 2nd video and the Silver Montero, except that partly because the speeds were higher (39.4mph vs 37.7 mph), the effect was exacerbated. It also looks to me like the right front tire on the 2nd Montero may have been punctured as a result of the maneuver (excessive tire scrub may have cause the wheel to come off the tire).

    Now the question is what Mitsubishi can and will do at this point. Firmer suspension tuning and different (larger/thicker) antiroll bars will probably help. In my humble opinion, the most significant and probably the easiest thing and quickest thing that they can do is add electronic stability control to the Montero. As was mentioned earlier, this was one of the steps that MB did a few years ago to the A-class when it had problems with the same maneuver. Audi also did the same thing (like MB they also did some chassis and suspension work) to the TT when there were issues with extreme high speed handling. Electronic stability control does have to be special developed and tuned for each individual vehicle though, so some development work is still forthcoming, if it hasn't already been carried out. Of course they may just say that there isn't an issue altogether.

    Some say that C.R's emergency avoidance maneuver isn't realistic for the real world, however, the same criticisms have been said about the IIHS 40mph offset crash test. There will always be naysayers, and personally, I prefer to err on the side of caution.

    In late March of this year, I took my own SUV to an advanced driving course where we did a similar (but tighter and shorter) emergency double lane change maneuver. You can see the video clips by clicking here

    Just my own 2 cents, your mileage may vary

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  • rgreenbe1rgreenbe1 Posts: 8
    The is a link on Motor Trend's web site that links to the video of a 30 minute video of the Mitsubishi press conference. IT IS A MUST SEE. IT WILL REALLY PUT SOME SERIOUS DOUBT ON WHAT CR DID. I ACTUALLY FEEL MUCH BETTER NOW.
    Please check out and pass the word on.
    Please post your repsonses to the press conference.

    2001 Silver LTD
  • steverstever Posts: 52,572
    This is supposed to be a link to the press conference if you have Real Audio. I am have trouble getting it to work; maybe another one will be found.

    Meanwhile, CR rebuts statements by Mitsubishi here and here.

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