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In The News

Case blacklists car importer SG Vehicles for second time

Watchdog says SG Vehicles is only motor firm to be flagged twice; it drew 'high volume' of complaints.

SG Vehicles is the first and only motor company to be blackmarked twice by the consumer watchdog, Case said.

Case told The Straits Times that SG Vehicles had chalked up a "high volume" of complaints from consumers pertaining to "misleading claims, false claims and defective goods".

There were 39 complaints against the company last year, up from 36 in 2015. There were nine complaints in the first five months of this year.

Case said the company also operated under names like SG Vehicles Asia, SG Vehicles Continental and SG Vehicles Global.

The company, which operates out of Bukit Merah, was started in 1984, and is run by married couple Mark and Juliet Poh.

Case first flagged the company for unfair practices last year.

Common complaints were about late delivery of vehicles, persistently unsuccessful bidding for certificates of entitlement, and buyers being told to pay more for their cars after sales agreements had been signed.

"Case offered SG Vehicles the opportunity to respond to the consumers' feedback," its spokesman said. "However, SG Vehicles failed to substantively respond by the stipulated time."

Read more ...

Firm faces court case over undelivered car

A consumer is taking parallel importer SG Vehicles Global to court over a car he ordered a year ago, which has yet to be delivered.

Mr Mohamed Anwardeen, 35, placed a $2,000 cash deposit for a $105,000 Honda Vezel with the firm in June last year.

Over the next several weeks, Mr Mohamed, a civil servant, was asked by SG Vehicles Global salesman Sivassankar Gunasegaran, also called Shankar, to top up the deposit. He paid $8,000 by credit card and again $10,000 in cash. The last payment was in October, and was made at SG Vehicles Global's office in Bukit Merah, whereupon a receipt was issued. But in February this year, Shankar told the buyer he had absconded with the $10,000, and had surrendered himself to the police. He was charged and is due in court on July 15.

SG Vehicles Global then asked Mr Mohamed for another $10,000 to make good the money that its employee had run away with, if he still wanted the car.

Mr Mohamed refused.

" COMPANY IS ACCOUNTABLE

The salesperson collected the monies from the consumer at the company's office and issued a receipt to the consumer in the course of his employment. As a result, the company, as principal, could be liable to the consumer for acts committed by its agent. The company should not therefore attempt to absolve itself from all liabilities.

CASE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LOY YORK JIUN"

Read more ...

Customer sues over tampered mileage

A motorist who bought a car which had clocked more than twice the mileage shown on its odometer took the seller to court and won.

Madam H.M. Peh, 35, an auditor, sued used-car dealer Right Car and recovered $20,000 last week.

Madam Peh and her husband Steve Long were looking to buy a car in late 2015, and spotted a 6½-year-old Nissan Presage advertised by Right Car, a second-hand dealer located in Turf City.

"We did an Internet search on them (the company) and there was nothing wrong," said Mr Long, 41.

The Presage's odometer - which records the distance clocked by a vehicle - showed that the seven-seater had clocked 75,000km.

"It looked nice," Mr Long said. "We asked the dealer if it was the real mileage, and he said yes."

They paid $59,000, and took delivery of the car in December 2015.

But within a month, the car developed a few mechanical problems.

Read more ...

Lawyers beat evasive tactics by serving papers via WhatsApp, email

For the past year, lawyer Adrian Wee has been using emails to notify some individuals that they have been sued by his clients.

And he would consider adding WhatsApp to his arsenal of electronic avenues to serve papers on hard-to-reach individuals if the circumstances call for it, now that the State Courts has given the green light for court papers to be served to an individual through the popular messaging system.

Mr Wee, director of law firm Characterist, said an electronic legal notice is usually used in debt recovery or harassment cases. “In the old days, if the guy’s not home, you have to come back later. It’s easy for them to evade (being served the court papers) by not opening the door. It gets difficult because that can delay proceedings,” he said.

Such evasive tactics may no longer work in this digital age. In May, the High Court ruled that an Australian-based game developer, accused of copyright theft, could be notified of civil action through electronic means such as Facebook, Skype, Internet message board and email.

Read more ...