Sunday 25 January 2009

The Voice - Dear Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice

I am very disappointed with the XXX Car Dealers in Gaborone. I bought a vehicle from them early last year and was given a warranty of a year or 100 000 km, whichever came first. I was also told that the vehicle had to be regularly serviced at a cost of about P1,500 every 10,000 km.

I asked them what would be included in these services and they told me it would be oil changes,oil filter changes and checking brakes. I protested and asked if doing a service elsewhere would void the warranty and they said it wouldn't.

Since I bought the vehicle I've had endless problems including a steering knock, sticking clutch and gear lever, melting fuses, starter problems, the list goes on. I took the car to complain about the problems and the mechanic said I should bring the car for service. When I told him I'd changed the oil and filters then he said that I had voided the warranty. How can that be? Must the dealer do every little thing? The steering knock and starter problem have nothing to do with oil changes.

What can I do?

[We haven't had a chance to speak to this dealer yet which is why we've not given their name.]

This seems like a lot of problems you face.

Firstly they expect you to pay a fortune in servicing costs. You have to ask yourself why you must spend such a large amount of money on a car that is still covered by a warranty.

Then there's the ridiculous claim that you've voided the warranty by replacing the oil and filter and that they won't therefore fix the other problems. You need to examine the warranty you got when you bought the car but it's hard to believe that could really claim this. Send us a copy and we'll examine it for you.

Finally there's the failure of the vehicle to perform. I would write to the dealer before the warranty runs out saying that you consider it's not of merchantable quality and that you demand that they fix the problems you've reported.

If you don't get a suitable response from them let us know and we'll name them. I really don't think they want a fight with The Voice!

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