Victims of used car rip-off

CONSUMERS buying second-hand cars are being ripped off by unscrupulous sellers who sell them defective cars.

CONSUMERS buying second-hand cars are being ripped off by unscrupulous sellers who sell them defective cars.

Two consumers have accused two different sellers - one a used car dealer and the other a private seller - of selling the defective vehicles, and when they brought this to the sellers' attention the vehicles were fixed and they were expected to pay for the repairs.

When they refused to pay the sellers threatened to sell the vehicles.

This happened to Neria Mpolweni of Ikageng in Potchefstroom in North West, and Thato Saohatse of Danville in Pretoria.

Mpolweni said when she bought a bakkie from Triple G Motors to augment her salary, she never thought she would end up with a headache worse than a migraine.

Mpolweni, a single mother of two, said she asked the dealer to take the car in for a roadworthy test, but does not know whether this was done because it was not drivable when she collected it.

Herman Breytenbach, the owner of the garage, allegedly told her the bakkie was a bargain and that she should pay it off quickly since they did not accept instalments, Mpolweni said.

He even assured her that the bakkie was free of defects, she said.

She said the salesman was sneaky and a liar.

"The salesman, Koos Serfontein, made the whole buying process comfortable and I'm sure these guys are well trained in how to be liars because I fell for it," Mpolweni said.

She said the vehicle started showing defects the first day she drove it.

"The steering wheel was stiff and when I complained, Serfontein told me that I can solve it by buying a bigger bakkie because the previous owner had just replaced the steering box with a new one."

She said the salesman could also not drive it because the gears failed to engage.

"It was returned for repairs but was given back to me still faulty."

She said they assured her that they would fix the defects. After repairing the car they demanded extra payment.

The car is registered in her name and they are now selling it for R32900.

She reported the matter to a local police station, but was told it was a civil matter and that she needed an attorney.

Serfontein said they were willing to refund Mpolweni her R25000.

"She damaged the car, that is why she must pay the additional amount," he said.

Thato Saohatse bought a car from a private seller, a neighbour who buys salvaged vehicles and repairs them before selling them.

The seller, Sibusiso Mgidi, told Saohatse the vehicle would cost R45000, which he paid in two instalments.

The day after the sale Mgidi asked Saohatse to help him drive the vehicle to a panel beater in Pretoria West, where it would be fixed.

"He then told the owner of the panel-beating service to repair the vehicle and that the costs will be for his (Mgidi's) account. I ended up paying a further R2000 for repairs," Saohatse SAID.

Mgidi is now allegedly demanding a further R5000, because his mother says so.

"I think he and his mother are running a scam," said Saohatse.

He said he deposited the money into Mgidi's mother's bank account, but has been told that Mgidi owes his mother R50000. So he (Saohatse) must pay an additional amount to get the vehicle's registration papers.

Mgidi said it was his mother who was becoming greedy. He added that he would give Saohatse a refund.