CLIENT COMPLAINT // DAMAGED & DEFECTIVE VEHICLES SOLD
I hereby confirm that I have entered into a purchase and sale agreement in respect to purchasing a 2016 Mercedes Bens C180 Coupe A/R, with only 24 000 KM reflecting on the clock with Infiniti Auto Boksburg (19 Yster St, Bardene, Boksburg) on and/or about October 2019.
Once in possession of the said vehicle I had experienced numerous mechanical problems / latent defects to which the dealership has full knowledge off.
The vehicle was then taken back for the first time to the dealership Infiniti Auto, in order to resolve the mechanical problems in October 2019 (2 days after collection of the vehicle).
After experiencing these initial problems, I again enquired from the dealership, Infiniti Auto if the vehicle had been in an accident, to which I was advised with certainty that it was not.
I was then advised that the vehicle was sent to Mercedes Benz for the necessary repairs to be attended to.
Thereafter, I was advised that the dealership received my vehicle back however, was not satisfied with the way that Mercedes Benz had repaired it and therefore, the dealership, Infiniti Auto requested that they replace the faulty part.
On the 02nd of November 2019 I collected the vehicle from Infiniti Auto, however, the approx. 9 mechanical problems still persisted.
On the 04th of November 2019, an alert/notification appeared on the dash screen stating: “Top Up Washer Fluid” (windscreen wipers water bottle).
On the 05th of November 2019 the vehicle was taken back to the dealership, Inifiniti Auto in order to resolve the above-mentioned issues again for the second time.
At this point, I expressed the fact that these faults should have been resolved, however, afforded Infiniti Auto a second chance to rectify these problems.
On the 08th of November 2019 I was advised that numerous defects were attended to however, their dealership has a few more pending.
On 16 November 2019 I was advised that the vehicle was at Mercedes Benz and will be ready for collection the 18th of November 2019.
On the 23rd of November 2019 I collected the vehicle from the dealership, Infiniti Auto and then noticed that the panoramic sunroof roof was rattling.
Whilst driving the vehicle the steering started making a “scraping” sound when the steering wheel rotated left of right.
On the 07th of December 2019 the vehicle was taken back to the dealership, Infiniti Auto for the third time in order to resolve the persistent faults.
We were advised that the vehicle has an electric steering wheel component which will be repaired. However, due to the fault, the steering rack was replaced (and this point the invoice was maliciously forwarded to, my 3rd party extended warranty company without my permission and/or authorization).
The vehicle was collected in January 2020, and whilst driving another alert appeared (for the fourth time) on the dash screen to indicate that the passenger airbag was not operative, the aircon needed to be re-gassed again (at my own cost) and the vehicle required wheel alignment.
It must be noted that from date of collection to 4 months later, that being in January 2020, I only had the vehicle in my possession for under 1 month.
In and/or around February 2020 (4 months after purchasing the above mentioned vehicle), in accordance with Consumer Protection Act, I accordingly forwarded my Formal Written Notice to Rectify the Breach.
Taking into consideration the numerous and/or continuous problems I had been experiencing as mentioned above, I had approached an expert mechanic practicing and trading from Mercedes Bens, cost of which was paid by myself. The vehicle expert/assessor had attended to a partial mechanical evaluation of the above-mentioned vehicle and expressed his expert opinion that the vehicle has been in a front and/or under collision, a fact that had not been disclosed by the dealership, Infiniti Auto even after numerous queries and suspicions of the same. He further advised and/or pointed out the following:
Mercedes Benz dealerships would not utilise black insulation tape to mend wires together, and this was clearly visible at several places. A material type tape is used by Mercedes Benz.
The right front light does not sit flush into the stipulated light space provided.
The bonnet does not sit flush onto the front bumper and the left-hand side seemed to be repaired.
Covers that protect electrical wires within the engine were missing, therefore, rendering it vulnerable against water.
A cover that protects an electrical board was broken, exposing the board and therefore, vulnerable against water.
The steering rack that was replaced, did not seem to be brand new.
A bolt that would usually form part of the engine/turbo was lying at the bottom.
The front badge (on the front grill/bumper) is loose.
The protective covering located at the tyres were loose and missing clips.
According to the print out from Mercedes Benz it stated that the airbag fault occurred 31 (thirty one) times.
Kindly note Mercedes Benz provided us with an evaluation report reflecting the damages amounting to a sum of R524 992.90 (uneconomical to repair).
It was decided by the dealership, Infinity Auto and myself that in order to resolve our issues amicably, the dealership, Infinity Auto undertakes/ have agreed to replace the motor vehicle.
To enable us to attend to the same it was advised that the dealership will provide me with a list of vehicles available and/or specifically requested by myself. I will accordingly choose a suitable vehicle of which thereafter, a full inspection will be conducted thereof.
Thereafter, the dealership, Infiniti Auto will accordingly attend to the following:
1. Trade in the damaged/defective vehicle (all cost thereof bared by their offices);
2. Assist in obtaining finance for the new (2nd) vehicle as a new transaction.
We accordingly attended to the dealership, Infinity Auto to proceed with the “Trade In” of the defective vehicle and “Purchase” the new vehicle and was advised as follows;
In regards with a trade in we as the dealer would have to evaluate the vehicle and give a price. One the evaluation is complete and figures are agreed upon we could than proceed with necessary processes.
Figures received from head office
2016 Mercedes Benz C180 BE COUPE.
Evaluated offer as per head office : #######
Settlement on the vehicle: #########
Shortfall : R58 700
In order for you to purchase the new vehicle the shortfall would have to be loaded onto the new vehicle.
In light of the above mentioned incidence and/or events and in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act No 68 of 2008 (CPA): The Consumers rights to safe, good quality goods, more particularly section 55 & 56 of that Act of Parliament, I had:
1. Provided the Dealership with the opportunity to rectify their breach on numerous occasions by Repairing the defects.
2. After the Repairs and within days and/or weeks but not extending 3 months from date of repair, the vehicles problems persisted and I graciously extended them numerous further, opportunities to Repair the vehicle.
3. I have within the stipulated time frame, provided them with my written formal Notice to Rectify their Breach and furthermore, attended to numerous consultations/meetings in the hopes of resolving this matter amicably.
4. I provided them with the opportunity to Replace the defective vehicle with another vehicle at their dealership.
Throughout this entire ordeal I had been understanding and gracious in my efforts to resolve the dealerships negligent breach herein, however, had thereafter, been imposed upon with a penalty/ finance shortfall amount in the sum of R58 000.00.
After approx. 1 and a half years of fighting this costly battle with the Dealership, only then was I able to purchase a new vehicle from the dealership of which low and behold I further, had a battle to sort out the paper work, as the dealership deliberately dragged the process (at which time I continuously paid my monthly instalments towards my finance) just to drop the settlement price that they needed to pay. This lead me in the end months to pay for 2x financed vehicle instalments even though I was only in possession of 1x vehicle.
This was unjust and had caused me tremendous undue prejudice. Furthermore, to this day the dealership Principle has never contacted me to offer any explanation and/or apology nor even assisted in resolving this issue. Had I not attended to the Ombudsman with a complaint, I’m sure I would to this day still be battling.
P.S my defective vehicle is currently still advertised on the dealership showroom floor for a higher price than I actually paid to enable the dealership to recoup their loss caused due to their own negligence.
KINDLY BE AWARE OF THE VEHICLES SOLD AT THIS DEALERSHIP!!!