Taken for a ride

A Soweto woman has accused McCarthy Nissan Randburg of giving her a raw deal. She paid for a motor vehicle, but the dealer did not register it in her name.

A Soweto woman has accused McCarthy Nissan Randburg of giving her a raw deal. She paid for a motor vehicle, but the dealer did not register it in her name.

Gabi Ramba bought a second-hand Nissan Hardbody worth R135000 in 2006. She paid a deposit of R50000 and the balance was financed by her bank.

She said she was told that her vehicle would be registered in her name when she took delivery. When she collected the vehicle, she was issued with a licence disc with her name on it.

"This made me think the car was in my name. But last October I discovered that it was never transferred to me," said Ramba.

She said when the licensing department did not send her a reminder to renew her licence, she found it odd. She did not want to be on the wrong side of the law so she went to the department to renew the licence before it expired.

"I was shocked when they told me I could not renew it because the vehicle was not registered in my name," said Ramba.

She notified the seller, who issued her with a permit allowing her to drive the vehicle for three months.

Before the permit expired, the police impounded the vehicle because they suspected that it had been stolen.

"They arrested me, but released me when I explained how the vehicle ended up in my possession," Ramba said.

She notified the dealership about her arrest, but they ignored her, until the police officer who handled her case intervened. Only then did McCarthy Nissan act.

Ramba said her matter was dismissed as soon as the dealer supplied the investigating officer with proof that she had bought the vehicle from them.

She said that the dealer arranged for the vehicle to be collected from the pound and gave her a courtesy car. She has been driving the courtesy vehicle for four weeks, but McCarthy Nissan had not effected the transfer.

"If they cannot transfer the car to me they must just refund my money," said Ramba.

She has been paying a monthly instalment of R1850 on the car for 18 months, but is, in practice, not its owner.

McCarthy Nissan's Vicci Venter apologised profusely for the inconvenience they had caused Ramba. He said an error had occurred while the vehicle was being registered and a car bought by a Mrs Wilkson was registered in Ramba's name. He said they only realised the error this year.

Venter said: "As an act of goodwill, we will fill the petrol tank and pay for the next service at our service department."

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