Vannessa Kgwabane, a first-time car buyer, was devastated when she realised that the brand-new dream car she bought was a dud.
Seven days after she took delivery of her Toyota Yaris last January, the car packed up. She has been without it since last February, while the seller pretends to be fixing it, she said.
Kgwabane believes that she is a victim of car dealer George Ndlozi of 4MS Auto Garage in Benoni, Ekurhuleni. She said he was desperate to sell the car and also dishonest when he sold her a used car as new.
Kgwabane said an agent called Madlopha referred her to Ndlozi. She liked the Yaris and signed the deal.
"They assisted me to secure finance from Absa after I paid a deposit of R15000," she said.
On the day the car was to have been delivered, Kgwabane received a call from the dealership telling her that the car had been involved in an accident, but that they would give her a courtesy car because she was going to Durban for the holidays.
"That really spoilt my festive season because I had planned to celebrate it in style with my new wheels," lamented Kgwabane.
"Ndlozi just wanted to get rid of the car he gave me because it was not the one I had chosen and I was not given the presale agreement as is required. I still do not have the contract I signed," said Kgwabane.
When she collected the courtesy car she had to complete a new set of forms.
A day after collecting the car, it rained and the car leaked. She notified the dealer and asked him to exchange it. He offered to repair the defects. This never happened though she continued paying without fail.
Ten months later, the Motor Industry Ombudsman ordered Ndlozi to exchange the car, but he did not, said Kgwabane.
Ndlozi has denied that Kgwabane bought a brand-new car.
"She did not buy a brand-new Toyota Yaris. It was a used 2007 model, which she arranged to buy through an agent called Mandla Madlopha," Ndlozi said.
He said Madlopha asked him to help Kgwabane secure finance through his dealership.
"He secured finance through our dealer for the Yaris that was bought with Kgwabane's knowledge," Ndlozi said.
He said he was not aware that Kgwabane had been to their premises for 10 months. He said he had told her to bring the car in for the defects to be repaired, but she had not done so.
"She was aware of the (defects of the) car she was buying. She is not telling the truth when she says she was not aware that she was buying the car through Madlopha," he said.
But Ndlozi admitted that he took the entire purchase amount and paid Madlopha a commensurate share of the contract amount.
Now he and his associate want to sell the defective car to another unsuspecting buyer.
"Her vehicle has been kept at our dealership as a result of an arrangement between her and Madlopha, that he will assist her to find a person to takeover from her and relieve her from it," said Ndlozi.