The joy of owning a vehicle quickly turned sour for a Khayelitsha woman, Bulelwa Jama, after discovering that it had numerous mechanical defects and returned it to the dealer.
Although she bought and returned the car in 2014, Ms Jama is yet to get a replacement car. She accused the dealer Robley Auto car dealership, in Wynberg, of taking her for a ride.
The 50-year-old mother of four said she bought a Toyota Rav4 valued at R73 500. She paid a deposit of R8 000 from her personal savings, and took out a R65 500 loan to pay the balance.
Ms Jama said she test drove the car over the weekend, but was extremely disappointed when she discovered that it had several mechanical faults. Among others, she claimed the speedometer was not working properly, rear view mirror was broken, seat belts damaged, brake lights faulty and many other problems.
She said she immediately returned the car and informed the dealer about the problems. She said they apologised and assured her that the car would be fixed.
Ms Jama said she had decided to change the vehicle and replace it with a Ford Bantum. She claimed that the dealer agreed.
In the process she said she moved to work in Pretoria for two months. She said the dealer phoned her to say the vehicle was available. She said asked the dealer to keep the vehicle until she returned to Cape Town. But when she returned they allegedly told her that the car had been sold.
Since then she had been waiting to get another vehicle. “ I’m paying a loan for a car I never had,” she said. She said numerous promises have been made by the dealer.
She said the last straw was when members of the SAPS flying squad came to her house, in 2016, to inform her that a Ford Bantum registered in her name was dumped on the N2. “ I told them that I don’t have a car,” she said, adding that the officers then left.
Ms Jama said she bought the car so that she did not depend on other people. She says she now wants a refund. “I don’t want their cars anymore because they have failed to deliver on their promises. And I don’t trust them anymore,” she said.
Ms Jama said this matter has affected her health and she has tried to ask her lawyers to deal with the matter but they also seem not to be willing to assist her.
She said that when she opened a case at a police station she was informed that the police officers do not deal with a case involving an amount of R15 000 and above. Therefore, she was then advised to lodge a complaint with the small claims court. But she said they have also failed to assist her. She said she turned to the media with the hope that her matter could be resolved.
Jason Maree, owner of Robley Auto, said he was not aware of the vehicle’s mechanical faults when he sold it to Ms Jama. He claimed that the Ford Bantum in question was stolen from his workshop and had been registered in Ms Jama’s name. Mr Maree said his business went bankrupt and all of his business assets were repossessed hence he could not refund Ms Jama or give her another car. “I’m in Johannesburg now trying to find a job and soon as I’m back on my feet I will do all I can to get her a car. I regret how things turned out and it is not how I do business. I sincerely apologies to her,” he said.