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Products Liability > Mitsubishi Montero Rollover

The Mitsubishi Pajero, Montero and Shogun like many of the Sports utilities vehicles have a high center of gravity and are the most unstable vehicles on the road. Although designed to be driven off the road and roll, very few have rollbars. And to make matters worse, few meet the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration roof safety standards for automobiles [as weak as those standards are].The chief hazard occurs when taking emergency action, such as sudden tire tread separation, after steering in one direction and then being forced to rapidly correct in the opposite direction. The result is a rollover.
Rollover occurs because of the absence of a lower center of gravity and a wider track width, which allows automobiles to skid, spin and recover. But when taking a common evasive maneuver that car drivers safety complete every day, rapidly corrective action causes SUVs to trip and roll.

The failure of the roof of the Mitsubishi Pajero, Montero and/or Shogun involved in a 'roll over' accident is the most likely cause of death or permanent injury to the vehicle occupants. The roof is the least crashworthy part of these vehicle. In fact, roofs on most Suv's are often so 'fragile' that when 'test dropped' upside-down for a fall of 12 inches, the result is frequently a 'total roof crush' that in a 'real life' accident is the primary cause of death, permanent brain and spinal cord injuries.

Although all rollover death and injuries occur while vehicles are moving, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 216, issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA] in 1973, mandates a "standing" test. Officially called a "static" test this "safety" rule has been in place since the 1974 model year for cars and the 1995 model year for light trucks and vans. The standard provides that "a force of one and half times the empty weight of the vehicle or 5,000 pounds, whichever is less, be slowly loaded onto the roof over the A pillar, the front roof support that holds the windshield in place. Weight is added to a steel plate approximately 3 feet wide and six feet long that is placed at an angle over the roof line. A roof passes even if it collapses five inches.

Additionally, it has been reported by Japan's government it was looking at criminal charges against Mitsubishi Motors Corp. after the firm admitted to covering up customer complaints about defective vehicles for decades.

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Mitsubishi Montero Rollover
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