The complaints have been growing in recent years. A number of auto dealers are being accused of deliberately running schemes where consumers are being given the short end of the stick.
Persons complain of leaving their vehicles and coming back only to find them missing.
It was only after reports to the police that it was discovered that an auto dealer had repossessed the vehicles.
One case in particular is threatening to burst open the protective shell of a business that has over the years been largely shrouded in secrecy.
In late 2012, a woman approached a prominent auto dealer whose unsavory, aggressive practices have been raising eyebrows.
The auto dealer agreed to sell her a Toyota RZ for $4.6M with just under $900,000 paid down as a deposit. The agreement did not speak of the conditions under which the vehicle could be repossessed.
Rather, it said that the expenses of repossession had to be borne by the purchaser. The purchaser was also responsible for taking out Comprehensive Insurance coverage. The purchaser was asked to pay $100,000 monthly.
However, nine months after that transaction, in September 2013, the minibus which was being driven by the woman’s relative was involved in a deadly collision in the city after a car jumped a major road.
An occupant of the minibus was killed. The licence of the driver was suspended.
A few months after that accident, in January 2014, the insurance company paid out almost $900,000 to help repair the bus.
The cheque was made out to the auto sales. However, the purchaser of the minibus never saw the money.
In fact, a few weeks later, the auto sales moved in and repossessed the minibus.
At the time of the accident, the purchaser had paid over $2M.
The purchaser had been asking the auto sales, via a number of letters, to suspend the monthly payments until the minibus could be repaired and put back on the road to work.
The auto sales have been making excuses asking the purchaser to come back, on numerous occasions. It has been more than three years now.
According to officials, there are a number of concerns over the practice of forcing comprehensive insurance down on the throats of consumers.
“One would have preferred a situation where the insurance for the damaged bus would have liquidated the entire amount owed to the auto insurance.”
As it is, citizens are given little consumers’ protection with agreements that are vaguely worded in some instances. There have been reports that the auto sales would fix up the vehicles and resell them to others, without the issue of the dust not yet even settling with the previous purchaser.
Several complaints against auto sales have been made to the authorities but with little known change to the situation.
In fact, it is a common blame that the high number of accidents involving minibuses is to be blamed largely on the steep monthly repayment demanded by auto sales.
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