ANGELES CITY – “Baseless.”
That’s how the QWIK Motor Vehicle Inspection Center here called allegations against the integrity of the company conducting vehicle tests.
Jun Hilomen, manager of QWIK, refuted the claims of questionable road worthiness testing procedures and overcharging made by Pampanga business leader and car enthusiast Rene Romero and published in Top Gear and in this paper Wednesday.
In a telephone interview Thursday evening with Punto!, Hilomen reiterated what he told Top Gear earlier in the day: “I can sense a demolition job in the offing.”
He then referred Punto! to his response in Top Gearwhere he answered Romero’s allegations point-by-point, to wit:
1) There was no payment made for retesting the vehicle.
Hilomen dared Romero to come up with an official receipt to back up his claim that he was made to pay P900 to retest his vehicle on January 15. Hilomen said since the opening of the QWIK facility a few months ago, they never asked retakers to pay the P900 fee for humanitarian consideration since the system is still new to motorists.
2) Hilomen did not drive Romero’s vehicle into the testing bay.
Contrary to Romero’s story, Hilomen said that he didn’t drive the businessman’s Z4 during the first testing procedure or for the retesting run. They let the technicians do their jobs.
“We only drive the cars for testing when it is really needed,” the QWIK official stressed.
3) The Z4’s brake system underwent repair in between tests.
Figures don’t lie, asserted Hilomen. The LTO inspection report on the Z4’s brake-force test showed scores of 50 percent for the front and 45 percent for the rear, which merit a failing mark based on the Land Transportation Office’s standards under the new Motor Vehicle Inspection System.
But when the vehicle was driven back to the facility for retesting, it registered scores of 61 percent and 64percent, leading to a passing mark. The big discrepancy in the figures is enough basis for Hilomen to believe that the brake issues were fixed by mechanics.
4) The vehicle arrived late at the facility.
Hilomen said there’s no truth to Romero’s statement that on January 11, his driver arrived at the QWIK facility around 9am and the vehicle inspection started before noontime.
But according to Hilomen, CCTV footage shows that the vehicle arrived around 11:50 a.m. and the testing procedure was completed around 1:10 p.m. on the same day.
“He is clearly manipulating the facts. Very offending ’yan. Dapat lang niyang bawiin ang lahat nang sinabi niya laban sa amin,” said Hilomen, asking Romero to make a public apology or face the legal consequences of his accusations.