Issue of August 26, 2012
     
NEWS
Benguet
Ifugao
 
OPINION
 

64th Courier Anniversary Issue
 
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WEEK'S MAIL
We welcome your letters and opinions. Kindly limit your letters to a page, preferably typewritten and doublespaced. However, for your letters to be considered for publication, it is essential that all letters must be SIGNED above your PRINTED NAME (you may request your name to be withheld or substituted with your pen name) and must include your ADDRESS and PHONE NUMBER. Letters and emails deficient in any of the above requisites will not be entertained. Please be guided accordingly. Thank you.
 
Problem with a purchased car
EUGENE WALKER JR., Baguio City

I purchased a lemon car from Haima Cars at Marcos Highway, Poblacion, Tuba, Benguet. The sales executive was Marmen Mendoza with contact numbers 447-6677, 447-8899, 442-3559, 0916-420-1305, and web addresses srmarcelo@lausgroup.com.ph and www.lausautogroup.com.

I purchased a brand new Haima Freema, 1.8l off of the showroom floor. I had a repairman friend who test drove the car and told me he checked all of the fluid levels except for the transmission (this is what he really found to be a problem), but could not check it. The transmission is sealed.
My friend told me there was a slight noise and occasional roughness in the car’s performance. The speedometer calculated almost two kilometers. I also noticed this and the brakes sometimes do not work. I called up Haima to have them pick up the car and check it. 

After picking up the car and repairing it, I was informed by the technician that Mark my friend was just a repairman and did not know what he was talking about (This also means I did not know what I was talking about). He said he checked the speedometer by driving and having someone to follow him in another car (They don’t have the proper tools or instruments to check the speedometer). He said the kilometers on the car were correct.

Also, the transmission, brakes, and shifting of the gears, worked perfectly. About a week later, my fiancé and I drove the automobile for the first time. We went to fill the gas tank. On our way home, the problem occurred. While driving up the hill the car began to stall out. We back up down the hill several times and tried again. We even built up the RPMS and tried again but the car just could not climb the hill.  On our last try, the car rolled backwards very fast. Merlyn (my fiancé) tried the brakes but this did not stop the car. Finally before a near death collision with a stone wall, she used the hand brake and it worked.  

We looked for our neighbor’s driver. We need him to try getting the car away from the stone wall. Finally a taxi driver came along, we asked for help but he had a passenger at this time. He was a Good Samaritan and returned to help us. He tried, became aggravated, and stressed out before quitting. I pleaded him to wait until I called Haima who gave the Good Samaritan the same instruction we all had previously tried.  He decided to back the car all the way down the hill. He put the car in drive 1 and drove up the hill as fast as he could.  We made it barely up the hill.

On Aug. 8, Haima’s technician came to pick up the car. He checked before taking it to the dealers. The same thing happened. Still he insisted the brakes were good.  I called them the next day and was told the technician was taking instruction from another technician over the phone and it will be repaired soon.  After that day I called again and could not talk to anyone. I left messages for them to have their manager contact me but it never happened.

On Aug. 17, I spoke with the Terry, the sales manager.  He informed me that they had just received the part for the car. I told him I did not want a rebuild transmission. I paid for a new car and that is the only thing I will accept. Then I changed my mind and told him that I wanted my money back because I did not like the way they were doing business, the continuous lying and they have no respect for my intelligence. The sales manager informed me that he will talk to his boss about returning my money.  I asked what time will I be hearing from him again and he said 4 p.m. that same day.

At 4 p.m., I did not hear from him.  Suddenly at 5:10 p.m., Mendoza, Terry, and the technician were at my door. We discussed my concerns with the car. They wanted to give me a loaner car while they replaced the ATF. I asked why will I need a loaner car just for them to replace the ATF? They said they had to check if it works.

I found out they did not have the equipment for checking the ATF (VAG Scan was needed, but they did not have IT or did not know what it was).

They said they did not know how long the ATF was in the car before it arrived from the manufacturer in China.  I told them they should have received this information upon arrival of the car. Mendoza said the ATF was contaminated from the manufacturer.

Then the sales manager informed me that this is the reason they check the car after 2,500 kilometers or three months. I said, “You don’t check before turning the car over to the buyer?”  They said no. They did not even check before bringing it back to me.

No one even knew that oil and transmission fluid do not go bad on the shelf. The seal transmission fluid does not need to be changed but every seven to 10 years. They did not know that this seal transmission fluid was good for 150 miles. It is good to be checked for leakage and other things which may apply every six months with a VAG Scan. Without them having the proper equipment to change the fluid, they will have to keep the engine running while replacing the ATF and this would be guess work. The reason they needed to keep the car and check out the performance was because they do not have diagnostic equipment for this computerized car.  They could not even calibrate the speedometer.

After learning of all their malfunctions, I said I did not want the car and the sales manager told me he needs to talk with his boss.  He asked me to give them a second chance. I told them they already had a second chance and that I paid for a car that was supposed to be the equivalent of a Honda, Toyota, Mitsubishi, or Nissan.

Actually, this car is built in association with Nissan Motor Corporation. I did not pay for a car used by them for experiment.

On that same day, I spoke with my banker and asked what should I do. He told me to get a lawyer and contact the media because this car is being advertised to be equal to or greater than the cars mentioned above in quality but sold at a lesser price, although it is an expensive automobile despite their claim. 

I want to have your advice on this matter as to what I can and should do. The dealer has all of my documents at this time. All I have is this hand written receipt and a video clip.

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