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Mitsubishi Montero Fails 'Consumer Reports' Test

Jun 21, 2001 | USA TODAY Consumer Reports magazine rates the 2001 Mitsubishi Montero Limited sport-utility vehicle "not acceptable" because of what it says is its risk for rolling over in some hazardous driving conditions.

It is just the third time the magazine has handed out its lowest rating for a vehicle.

Mitsubishi was quick to challenge the testing methods used by Consumers Union, which publishes the magazine, and says it has no reports of rollover crashes with the Montero.

The test involves running the vehicle through a slalom course at varying speeds, the driver steering left, right, then left again on a short course to mimic the driving one might have to do to avoid an unexpected road hazard

Consumer Reports says two wheels came off the ground eight out of nine times the Montero went through the course at 37 mph or higher.

Pierre Gagnon, president of Mitsubishi Motors, the company's U.S. division, said Consumers Union's testing does not reflect "real-world" driving conditions. Consumers Union "forced an outcome that misrepresents the safety of our vehicle," he said.

Mitsubishi is instructing dealers to describe Consumer Reports' tests as "unreliable and unscientific." Gagnon says neither Mitsubishi nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has any reports of Montero rollover accidents.

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