*This story has been updated.
An unhappy car buyer is demanding that We Buy Cars dealership refund or give him a different vehicle after a BMW he purchased from them stopped working four days later.
Mondli Patrick Sityodana, an entrepreneur from Delft, says he bought the white 2013 BMW 116i on 18 November from their Montague Gardens branch.
The 30-year-old paid R152 000 in cash but says he had to return the car on 22 November as it started giving him problems immediately.
He says the car cut out at speed and also vibrated while he was driving.
“I knew something was wrong with the car and I immediately took it back.
“They fixed it and said it was a coil. But the second time two weeks later, it was a nightmare. They didn’t want to hear anything and swore and threatened me,” he says.
“This time the car had completely stopped working and wouldn’t start.
“They came to fetch it and upon finding out that the ECU box (computer box) had blown up, they started telling me there’s nothing they could do, they wouldn’t take responsibility and I needed to sort it out myself.
“I had the car for less than a month, a car I was told was clean, with no mechanical issues,” says an upset Mondli.
He says the BMW was towed from his house in Delft on 11 December but two weeks later, he was told the car would only be fixed under warranty terms.
“These are the things I asked about the minute I paid for the car but they told me they would email them to me. They never did,” says Mondli.
“All they gave me is a proof of purchase and it has been one story after another and my business suffered in the process.”
Mondli owns a landscaping company and says he was forced to buy another vehicle, a Ford Ranger bakkie, for which he now pays monthly instalments.
“I just want these guys to give me my money back or give me a different car.
“After this whole ordeal I can’t trust them with that BMW.
“They don’t even want to buy it back at a reasonable value, saying it [depreciated] the minute I drove it.
It’s a scam. I drove the car less than a month,” he says.
Rory Browns of We Buy Cars in Montague Gardens claims the BMW was sold on a voetstoots basis.
“That’s the problem with people, coming back saying they didn’t understand what they signed up for.
“We explained everything to him, which I wouldn’t discuss with you. What I am saying is he knew the terms and conditions of the sale,” says Rory.
But Mondi says Browns is lying: “They only sent me a copy of the terms and conditions (yesterday). I questioned and they failed to explain all this at the time of purchase.”
WeBuyCars issued a follow-up statement saying the car was sold to Mondi under cash conditions and not as a voetstoots sale as previously confirmed by Rory Browns.
“The vehicle was sold to the customer as is under cash conditions, not as a voetstoots sale.
“At the time of purchase the client signed a contract and obtained a DEKRA report. A DEKRA Condition Report is a customised, professional used vehicle condition evaluation completed by independent expert DEKRA examiners.
“The customer states that he had issues with the car after two weeks, but WBC records show that this was 20 days, closer to three weeks.”
The statement added that the car was not “kaput” but rather an error message was shown on 23 November 2021.
“The customer was referred to a workshop by WBC where the error message relating to the thermostat was cleared. In this instance the workshop liaised directly with the customer.
“WeBuyCars has also noted that 6000kms, which is significant mileage in a short space of time, was done between the date of purchase (18 November 2021) and the date of the customer’s second complaint (13 December 2021).”
“The customer alleges that he was only sent a copy of the terms and conditions on 10 January 2022 and that WeBuyCars failed to explain this at the time of purchase. This is incorrect as T&Cs are explained and signed for at pre-purchase via a registration form which includes all T&Cs.
“WeBuyCars has a copy of the registration form which has been signed by the customer. Additionally, the invoice, provided to the customer on the day of purchase, which is standard procedures, also includes all T&Cs.”
“WeBuyCars, a 20-year old business, engages with thousands of satisfied customers every month. Customer satisfaction is important to WeBuyCars and it is currently engaging with the customer in question to find a mutually satisfactory outcome.”