PENANG: A syndicate is believed to have been upgrading certain vehicles and then passing them off as pricier “special edition” models to unsuspecting buyers.
The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry’s enforcement division here, which has received a complaint on the scam, believes the case reported is only the “tip of the iceberg”.
State enforcement director Fahmi Kasim said a thorough investigation was being conducted into the alleged scam.
“We have received a complaint lodged by a woman from Perak, who claimed that she had paid an additional RM6,000 for a multipurpose vehicle (MPV) ‘disguised’ as a special edition model,” he said.
Fahmi said the ministry had two options – forward its findings to the Consumer Claims Tribunal or take action under the Trade Descriptions Act 1972.
“We are in the process of contacting the plant where the vehicle was manufactured.
“We will also check with the Road Transport Department on the registration of the vehicle,” he said on Friday.
According to the complainant, a car dealer in Jalan Mesjid Negri here had cheated her.
The woman only discovered in February, a month after purchasing the MPV, that the model given to her was not a special edition.
“I realised I had been cheated after sending the vehicle to a workshop in Penang.
“The mechanic told me that the bumper was repainted to match the specification of the special edition version. He said the tiny bubbles appearing on the paintwork was a tell-tale sign,” she said.
The woman, who declined to be named, said the special edition also came with double-tone leather seats but those in her MPV were monochrome.
She said the special edition emblem on the vehicle also looked suspect.
On verifying with the manufacturing plant, she also found that the chassis number of her MPV was for an ordinary model.
“I should have suspected something amiss when the dealer told me I could only service my vehicle at one centre on the mainland.
“I did wonder why I could not go to the service centre in Taiping, which is nearer to my home,” she said.
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