'Car firms owe us money'

CAR TROUBLES: The  car dealership in Ravenswood that is courting controversy.    
       photo: veli nhlapo
CAR TROUBLES: The car dealership in Ravenswood that is courting controversy. photo: veli nhlapo

A NUMBER of second-hand car dealers are not deterred by the new Consumer Protection Act.

They continue to conduct their business in an unconscionable way, whether a consumer buys or sells a car through them.

Patrick Sibiya and Nancy Dike are both battling to recover their money from two car dealerships.

It's 10 months since MWC Motors sold Sibiya's Jetta but he has not received a cent after the dealership received the full purchase amount.

Though Danny Steyn, who owns MWC Motors, had undertaken to pay Sibiya his R135000 in four instalments, he has not done so as yet despite selling the vehicle.

The Ravenswood dealership had responded to an advert Sibiya had placed in Auto Trade Magazine in October last year.

Sibiya said Leon Coetzee of MWC offered to sell the car on his behalf if no one offered to buy it.

Three weeks after that Coetzee, in the company of his son, visited him at his home after he had secured a buyer, Sibiya said.

"I signed the offer to purchase and gave him the car papers so he could facilitate the transfer."

Coetzee promised to transfer R135 000 to his bank account within 21 days but the expiry date passed without the transfer taking place.

Steyn said Coetzee, his salesman, tried to arrange repayment options with Sibiya's attorneys, but has not heard from them since.

  • Nancy Dike is battling to recover R20 000 she paid to Zane Thom of Nothing to Spend Motors in Randburg.

After seeing an A160 Mercedes-Benz 2005-06 model at the dealer she was interested in purchasing, she asked for a discount because it had minor faults.

Dike said before she had received her inheritance from her late father's estate, she received a call from Nothing To Spend inviting her to put down a deposit as the car was in demand.

On March 30, Dike's daughter, Nandi, deposited R20000 into the dealer's bank account.

"At that stage there were no documents that had been signed or a contract over the car," she said.

Then there were delays at the Master's Office, prompting Nothing to Spend to sell the car as they could not wait for her anymore, she said.

"I gave them my blessing to sell the car and refund my money from the proceeds of the sale," she said.

But when her daughter phoned the salesman for the refund, they refused, saying they had used it to fix the defects on the car.

"Justifying why he (Thom) withheld the deposit he said it was money-laundering and he therefore could not release it," she said.

"I am aware of the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008, Section 17, sub section 3. I am not sure if he is aware of this."

This section of the Act allows a consumer to cancel an advance reservation, booking or order on payment of a reasonable cancellation fee. Thom had not responded at the time of going to print.