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Dealership offers fed-up client discount on new vehicle

Discounted amount will determine meeting outcome

Dzivhuluwani Ramovha at the Hatfield VW in Pretoria where he bought his car in 2019.
Dzivhuluwani Ramovha at the Hatfield VW in Pretoria where he bought his car in 2019.

Volkswagen SA (VWSA) has offered to sell a car to its customer at a discounted price after its dealership struggled to find a replacement engine for his vehicle.

Dzivhuluwani Ramovha's VW Golf R has been gathering dust at Hatfield VW in Tshwane for almost two months after its engine broke down in September.

The dealership has not been able to replace the engine, citing the unavailability of stock both locally and in Germany. 

Ramovha had approached Sowetan Consumer two weeks ago, seeking intervention when the dealership said it could not fix the car and offered to settle his debt with the bank and give him a new model.

At the time, Ramovha did not accept the deal, claiming that the car was close to being paid off and that he was not planning on taking a new financial responsibility. 

However, the company revised its offer following the publication of the article in the Sowetan last week. 

The dealership shared an email it sent to Ramovha with Sowetan Consumer. To assist you, we have offered a special transaction to trade in the vehicle and provide a new Golf 8 at a discounted price.

“However, please understand that we cannot simply take back a vehicle that has been driven for over three years and has travelled more than 120,000km,” wrote Chris Harmse, the dealership's sales manager.

Ramovha said he would meet VWSA regional after-sale manager at the dealership to further discuss the offer.

Ramovha said he was looking forward to the meeting as he has been trying to put the matter to bed for weeks.

“I've been dealing with these people for years since I bought my previous car from them. Now they are talking about a discount but they are not saying how much discount I'd get.

“I guess I will find out when I meet them and my decision whether to get another car or not will be based on the amount of discount offered,” said Ramovha. 

Ramovha bought the car new in 2019 but it has been giving him problems, especially with long distance travel.

The car first broke down about four months after he bought it at the same dealership. At the time it had a problem with a clutch, which had to be replaced in 2021 when it had problems again. Last year the car's gearbox had to be replaced following another fault.

Disputes between motorists and car dealerships are common and there are avenues for car owners to address their challenges.

SA Consumer Complaints and the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) are some of the avenues available to consumers who are having difficulties with car dealerships.

RMI renders the facilitation of a mediatory service in relation to disputes between consumers and businesses (RMI members) in the motor industry.

The RMI follows a process of facilitation and attempts to reach amicable resolutions to disputes in a manner that is cost-effective for all parties concerned.

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