Consumer journalist Wendy Knowler has revealed how a Code 3 vehicle (a car which should rarely make it on the road) was sold twice even after being written off when it was caught up in the 2016 floods in Johannesburg.
The car, a 2014 Fiat 500 Abarth, suffered extensive damage and was apparently written off as a Code 2.
It was then found to be on sale at Daly Selectacar in Klerksdorp which bought the car as a code 2. Ursula Grobler purchased the vehicle. When she experienced problems with it and could not get any joy from the dealership, she sent a complaint to the Motor Industry Ombud.
She won the case. The dealership took back the car and put it back on sale. Knowler was then approached by a man who bought the car.
How did that Code 3 end up as a Code 2 (ordinary used car) on the eNatis paperwork?
He drove with it to Durban at night and when he got to Durban there were problems with it. He complained about it and took them to an RMI workshop. What he had done when he came to me, armed with the report from the workshop citing all these problems related to the water damage, he found Ursula had it taken back on the motor ombudsman's ruling— Wendy Knowler, Correspondent - Consumer Talk
Then he found the person who was driving the car, Mr Shaik and they exchanged notes. He sent us pictures of what the car looked like after; there was just mud in the car, in the engine, everywhere.— Wendy Knowler, Correspondent - Consumer Talk
Knowler says the car dealership says it bought the vehicle from an auction house which indicated it as used vehicle and not a Code 3. The dealership says it can only speculate what transpired and are investigating the matter.
Alexander Forbes came back to me and say they revised the car as Code 2 but the point is that this car is sold from one auction house to another and lands up on the floor of that dealership. It is unconscionable for a consumer to buy a car as an ordinary used car with absolutely no disclosure around that fact that it was floating down a street once in 2016.— Wendy Knowler, Correspondent - Consumer Talk
The fact that this car was water damaged, how easy was it for that fact to be covered up to the point that it got to the showroom floor? And where are the checks available to the bankers, dealerships about the history of these cars?— Wendy Knowler, Correspondent - Consumer Talk
If the consumer knew what this car has gone through, you would make an informed decision.— Wendy Knowler, Correspondent - Consumer Talk
Knowler says the consumer has a right to know the kind of damage the car has been put through. She explains how consumers can protect themselves and avoid getting into a similar situation.
Click on the link below to hear the full report...