Broken telephone of financial ruin
Buyer stuck between hardened dealer and mounting debt
FIRST-time second-hand car buyers can often become victims of unscrupulous car dealers.In many instances, if dealers do not sell defective cars, they temper with the mileage or refuse to give the buyer the vehicle's registration papers.
But Kagiso Khunou's situation is different. He says that he was deceived into applying for finance for two vehicles, when in fact he is in possession of one car.
Khunou bought a BMW 318i in 2009 from Rashid Cassim of R&L Enterprise.
He says he exchanged the car three months later on Cassim's advise, as it was defective.
He says the vehicle was financed by Iemas Financial Services to the tune of R105,500.
When he went to Cassim's dealership to exchange the car, he claims that he was asked to fill in forms. He says he did so under the impression that was standard procedure. But, he says, those papers turned out to be finance forms.
Khunou claims that Cassim failed to inform Iemas about the vehicle exchange and that he demanded R110,500 for the second vehicle, which Khunou is also repaying.
"[Cassim] kept the defective car and money he was not entitled to," Khunou says.
He says he discovered this information when he contacted Iemas to ascertain why his vehicle installments had shot up from R2,997 to R5,632.
Khonou says Cassim sold the supposedly defective BMW to an unsuspecting buyer, who, in turn, returned the vehicle to Cassim for the same reasons Khonou had.
He says the car's ownership was not transferred to the new buyer, sinking him deeper into debt.
However, he says, Cobus Grobler, a credit manager at Iemas' Mpumalanga branch, promised to cancel the debit order for the replaced car. But, he says, this never happened.
"Two years later, [Grobler] tried to deliver the car to my wife behind my back instead of refunding me and cancelling the wrongful deduction."
He says he also tried to stop his employer from deducting money from his salary for the additional car, without luck.
"But they can allow Iemas to deduct money without proof that I took an additional loan from them."
He says he is repaying an additional R109,673 for a car he returned in July 2009.
Since November 2009, he has been paying R5,632 monthly.
He says, at times, Iemas would deduct any amount they liked from his salary.
"From November to May, Iemas debited R6,700 from [my] salary without any reason."
His employer, Thaba Chweu, confirms they do not have any loan agreement contract, which shows that he took finance from Iemas.
An HR staffer, whom Consumer Line spoke to, said Khunou had been complaining about the additional debt since 2009, but they could not stop the deductions without the consent of Iemas.
Khunou says Lydenburg police have also failed him because they refused to open a fraud case against Cassim.
He says they told him that the matter was civil and was advised to seek the services of an attorney.
An Iemas spokeswoman, Madelein Barkhuizen, says they are aware of Khunou's problem but that they could not intervene as they are only a financial provider.
Barkhuizen also says they never received any settlement amount from the dealer but instead received a finance application form, which they approved.
"Iemas never received settlement for the first vehicle from the dealer and therefore the member was responsible for paying the outstanding balance," she says.
But Cassim says he is not responsible for Khunou's misery.
He says he was not asked to exchange the vehicle, but to sell the defective car on Khunou's behalf.
Cassim added: "He [Khunou] must direct his complaint to Iemas and not me."