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Top Gear Philippines

Mitsubishi Montero Sport viral video

So, there's this footage of a Mitsubishi Montero Sport supposedly exhibiting the so-called sudden unintended acceleration, aired by ABS-CBN's TV Patrol last night and now being circulated on social media. You can watch the video here.

The video shows a Montero Sport hitting three motorcycles while backing up in the parking lot of a Quezon City police station, before launching forward to hit two other cars.

The vehicle owner--identified only as "JR"--narrated the incident like this:

Bigla na lang nakarinig ako ng malakas na ingay ng makina--na akala mo, galit na galit. Ginawa ko ang lahat. Inapakan ko yung brake at hinand-brake ko, pero wala e. Dere-derecho e. May sa-demonyo yung sasakyan. Akala ko katapusan ko na nung panahon na yun.

In English:

I suddenly heard a loud engine noise--it sounded really angry. I did everything. I stepped on the brake pedal, and then engaged the handbrake, but nothing happened. It continued to accelerate. The vehicle was possessed by the devil. I thought it was already the end for me.

Now, the question is: Did he really step on the brakes? As everyone now notes on social media, how come the brake lights didn't come on?

Our print associate editor Paulo Subido says that the brake lights should have been activated if the brake pedal had been depressed--yes, even assuming there was a brake failure of some sort.

"The brake-light switch is located behind the pedal," Subido explains. "Stepping on the brake pedal will trigger a switch, which will then turn on the brake lights. That switch is independent of the hydraulic mechanism of the brake system. It should work even if the actual brakes fail."

Our technical editor Ferman Lao adds: "All I see is a car out of control. No brake lights means no brakes applied. The brake lights don't look like they were damaged from the initial impact. If I had to surmise, the puff of black smoke just before the vehicle came to a stop was proof of a last-ditch effort to stab on the brakes, but the accelerator pedal was depressed instead. Watch the timing when the black smoke came out--it appears just about or fractionally before the impact, which would indicate that the driver may have tried to step hard on the brake but hit the throttle instead."

Lao even offered to analyze the sequence of events:

* Driver steps on the throttle while backing up;


* Driver releases the throttle to dab the brakes a bit, but hits the throttle instead;

* Car goes backward and hits the motorcycles;

* Driver drops the shifter in D to move forward (or to N, but goes to D); and

* Car shoots forward.

"It happened pretty quick, so it would have been hard for anyone to catch--particularly when one is caught off-guard," Lao says.

What do you think?

UPDATE: We've uploaded on our Facebook page a longer version of the video, showing what really took place before the crash. Watch it here.


Vernon B. Sarne
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