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Indian Army & Mitsubishi Lock Horns Over Faulty Pajero SUVs

Snapshot: The primary reason behind this dispute is the "malfunctioning" engine of some of the SUVs.

The Indian Amry and Mitsubishi, the Japanese automaker, are at loggerheads over the quality of Pajero SUVs. The company supplies Pajero to the Indian Army for the sensitive Indo-China stretch of the border in Sikkim. The primary reason behind this dispute is the "malfunctioning" engine of some of the SUVs, which has left the Army with no choice but to bring them down to Kolkata. Between 2011 and 2014, a dozen Pajeros were sent to Sikkim and Mitsubishi Motors agree that at least two had to be brought down.

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Mitsubishi has claimed that the problem in engines is due to the Amry's use of poor quality diesel and Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF), which is 70% kerosene, instead of an imported additive suggested by the carmakers. The Army has sent three units of Mitsubishi Pajero to Kolkata, and one of them is being used at Fort William, the Army's Eastern Command Headquarters. Even Eastern Army commander Lt-Gen Praveen Bakshi is also using one of these SUV, albeit due to compulsion, not choice, divulged a senior officer. "The Pajeros supplied to Sikkim did not perform up to our expectations, particularly in the higher altitudes. Their engines developed problems.The situation was so bad that we had to bring down three of them to the plains. It would serve no purpose to allow them to rot. We are trying to make best use of these vehicles," a Fort William spokesperson said.

Krishna Kumar, an executive with Mitsubishi Motors, countered: "There is no problem with the vehicle or its engine. In fact, the Pajero is a robust vehicle that has performed extremely well in extreme weather conditions. The problems are related to usage of poor quality of diesel, which has maximum kerosene content." Krishna Kumar, an executive with Mitsubishi Motors, said: "Due to the use of different fuel, it developed major issues in the fuel injection pumps and related engine parts. We have extended our support to use additive to avoid diesel freezing, but they have never followed our suggestions. Poor maintenance is also a problem." The decision to include Mitsubishi Pajero in the Army was taken in 2010-11 as People's Liberation Army (PLA) on the other side of the border used the similar SUVs. Just so you know, The vehicles of choice by the Army in the eastern Himalayas are Maruti Gypsies and Mahindra four-wheel drives.

Source - ET Auto

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