Hyundai Motors Battle Customer Over Alleged Defective Car

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In a bid to quash the decision of the Consumer Protection Council between Hyundai Motors Nigeria Limited and one of its customers in respect of defective Tucson Evolution Jeep, the automobile company has dragged the Consumer Protection Council before a Federal High Court in Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

Joined as co-respondents in the suit are Manager, Tax Regulatory and Advisory Service of Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Mofouke Agbeyangi and Mr. Rotimi Agbeyangi.

In an affidavit sworn to by the Service Manager of Hyundai Motors Nigeria Limited, Mr. Devi Prasad, and filed before the court by Barrister Badejo Bonayo, SAN, the deponent averred that Mr. Rotimi Agbeyangi bought a brand new Tucson Evolution Jeep 2.0 WD from his company in perfect condition on 18 April, 2008, in accordance with worldwide automobile sales practices under warranty, and manufacturers warranty covers only defective parts traceable to the manufacturers.

Parts which are found to be so defective as a result of manufacturer’s defect will be replaced at no cost to the customer.

Mr. Prasad averred further that Mrs. Mofoluke Agbeyangi sometime in April 2011 simultaneously lodged complaints with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria and the Consumer Protection Council.

Consequently, the company was invited to a meeting by Standards Organisation of Nigeria and subsequent to the meeting, SON directed that the company recall the car and replace it with another car.

Dissatisfied with the directive the company caused its lawyer to write a response detailing its position on the issue.

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The company was also invited to a meeting by the Consumer Protection Council. The company’s representatives attended the meetingduring which Mrs. Agbeyangi asked for a replacement of the vehicle and payment of the sum of N4,800,200 being the money she spent on transportation for the period the car was being repaired by the company.

Prasad averred that the mediator compelled Hyundai Company to sign a mediation agreement which included a clause that failure to carry out the obligation is punishable by three years imprisonment.

In view of this scenario the applicant is urging the court to quash the decision made by the Consumer Protection Council and issue an order restraining the respondent and their agents from harassing or impeding the operations of their company.

But in a letter of complaint wrote to the Director General of the Consumer Protection Agency, Abuja, by Mrs. Mofoluke Agbeyangi, she alleged that she bought the Blue Tucson Evolution Jeep 2.04 WP from Hyundai motors at the total cost of N2,999,000. Few months after taking delivery, she said observed a noise from the rear side of the vehicle; thereafter the vehicle was taken to the workshop of the company, where it spent one month for repairs, but the noise persisted and the vehicle had to be returned and remained in the workshop for six weeks.

About five months after collecting the car for the third time, the car packed up on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Mrs Agbeyangi alleged that she later confirmed a case of factory defect, with no part available for replacement. She alleged that the company had been patching up the vehicle. The vehicle spent another five months at the workshop of the company only to packed up again along Epe-Ikorodu Expressway. In view of these, she petitioned the Standards Organisation of Nigeria and Consumer Protection Agency both bodies ordered that the vehicle be replaced.

Justice John Tsoho has adjourned till April 19 for hearing.