The most problematic sale is always that of a second-hand vehicle. This is not only because there is normally no warranty, but also because there is no legal certainty as to the transfer of ownership. This is further complicated by a lack of historical, technical data apart from that contained in the service book, if this is available.
Fikile Jele bought a BMW cash on August 23 from a private dealer, Cornwall Hill Motors of Pretoria. This dealer did not disclose that the vehicle was previously involved in an accident.
Seven days after she paid her full purchase price, she went to fetch the car but it was not registered in her name, nor did it have number plates or a permit, said Jele.
She was advised to take it since the paperwork would be finalised a week later. On her way home her dashboard showed a reading that the car was ready for service, she said. When she reported this to the dealer, she was told she could take the car in for service since it was still under a motor plan. A week later she took it to a BMW dealership and discovered that it had indeed been involved in an accident.
The car has since been taken back to Cornwall Hill Motors, but they have not taken it to the AA for testing even though they had promised to do so. Dirk Uys, the owner of Cornwall has denied that the car was ever in an accident.
The Gauteng Office of Consumer Affairs has agreed to investigate the alleged unfair business practice.