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Monday, July 26, 2021

Car buyers fume after Doha Nissan, Dodge dealerships accused of fraud

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A ministry notice affixed to the window of the Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership near the old airport.
A ministry notice affixed to the window of the Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership near the old airport.

With translation by Riham Sheble.

Government inspectors have closed two vehicle showrooms in Qatar for a month after alleging they misled customers by selling supposedly new cars and trucks that had actually been damaged and repaired.

Notices from the Ministry of Economy and Commerce, announcing a violation of consumer protection laws, are affixed to the windows of the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealership on Al Matar Street, near the old airport, as well as the Nissan dealership on Salwa Road, near Ramada Junction.

In a statement, the government said it raided two dealerships as part of an ongoing inspection campaign, as well as in response to customer complaints, and found evidence of “commercial fraud.”

“The ministry’s inspectors conducted unannounced visits to the dealerships and service centers to find a number of violations committed by those agencies by selling new cars to customers without informing them that they have undergone repairs and been painted after being in accidents,” the statement said.

The Chrysler dealership is owned by United Cars Al Mana, which is part of the Almana Group. Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Co. owns the Nissan dealership and also operates two other Nissan showrooms elsewhere in Qatar that are unaffected by the government’s enforcement action.

Cables were tied to the doors of the Dodge auto dealership near the old airport following a ministry inspection.
Cables were tied to the doors of the Dodge auto dealership near the old airport following a ministry inspection.

Spokespeople from both companies told Doha News they were preparing official statements in response to the allegations. Dubai-based representatives for the respective manufacturers did not respond to requests for comments.

However, a source with knowledge of the investigation said the transgressions are less serious than they appear.

He claimed the vehicles were damaged during the shipping process – not in road accidents. He added that scratches and dents commonly occur during marine transport and are subsequently repaired by dealerships upon delivery.

In these circumstances, he said the customer is required to sign a disclaimer acknowledging that work has been performed and may be offered a discount or other incentive for accepting the vehicle.

In at least some cases under investigation by the ministry, the auto dealer was unable to produce the paperwork showing the customer understood that their new vehicle had undergone minor repairs, the source said.

Customer reaction

As the news of the closure spread, many local residents expressed anger on social media:

Meanwhile, some customers said they felt let down by the dealerships and were looking for more information.

Ali Khanan told Doha News that he would be bringing his Nissan Patrol, which he said he purchased in September 2013, to an independent mechanic for a full inspection.

“It’s a huge disappointment. It’s a breach of trust,” he said, adding he would like the dealership to reach out to customers or make a public statement explaining what happened as well as what corrective action the company plans to take.

Khanan added that the news was making him reconsider future purchases.

“I was planning to buy a (Nissan) X-Trail for my wife. I will have to think about (that purchase) closely,” he said.

Thoughts?

38 COMMENTS

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A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

finally serious action by the agency against car dealerships…

terracotta
terracotta
6 years ago

A good move. Waiting to hear what Nissan, Dodge and their agents have to tell.

jb
jb
6 years ago

Apparently this is commonly practised by most of the dealerships here.
When I was buying a second hand GMC from the first owner, the technical inspection revealed that the back bumper had been repainted. The first owner had no knowledge of this, and the inspection folk said that its common for the dealerships to repair damages during shipment and sell as new.

Alaieb
Alaieb
6 years ago

And a big thanks for the ministry of economy and comers for protecting the customers from these fraud …… But the government should in force them to recall all the cars models which they fixed and sold and bring new cars to the owners that move will teach all car dealerships Qatar to work by the laws and rules of the ministry of economy and comers.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

This is what happens when you have a monopoly. Abuse. Allow others to open in competition and you will see dramatic improvements in service.

I hope the owners, (sponsors) get convicted in court for fraud.

Well done the authorities for picking this up

Blue
Blue
6 years ago

Good job!!! Authorities have opened a Can of worms – if I had bought a vehicle from these dealers in the last year, I’d be making an appointment at German/Orange Inspection. For sure gonna see claims coming through.

Other car dealers hmmm – have they been audited as well?
Should I really trust AlFardan hmmm

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Blue

Errrrm al fardan, where the Lebanese mafia once told me I needed 5 news tires are they were over two years old and any service comes with hundreds of things that need doing…..

Nah their great, beyond reproach.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Service agents are paid on bonus/commission for selling additional service…..same at most dealers around the world….of course you could just say, no thanks, I don’t think I need to replace the tires and I am going to follow the manufacture guidelines on the other bits, to include them selling you new sets of wing nuts at 1000 QR every time they take them off. I was told by Mannai that the plastic radiator from my old car (that cracked) had to be replaced. Fine, that part is $125 US from a dealership in Florida. The service agent asked how I new that, I showed him my phone – which has, gasp, the internet. Mannai’s price 4000 QR. I could get a new full aluminum racing version for the WRX after market for less than 1/3 of that price. Its not just Al Fardan, the whole system is rigged. You are given a job, then have to pay rent, the rent is out of whack with any real market price (I mean there are entire buildings of offices and apartments and villas and compounds that sit empty), then you can get a car, whether its a loan, a lease, a rental, or you buy it outright, more money back to the same crew, then you get screwed on the service charges, parts, etc., then the food….banking….retail…..its an endless endeavor of greed. So this does not surprise in the least…..surprised its limit to just these two and doesn’t include the service center rip off market as well.

kdineshl
kdineshl
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

agree. I once worked for a dealer which sells an american car brand. For the parts they used to charge 2.5 times of the actual cost; same for labour charges – as a standard. But at times, I have seen customers been charged willy nilly. If the customers got angry over this and know how to bring this down, of course they can get away with it, at least by a percentage. Been a staff, had the access to the system, I asked the internal auditors about this practice. They told me, they work for the owner, not for the customers. :)). Ya, its all possible here…

dubious
dubious
6 years ago
Reply to  kdineshl

It’s almost like they don’t realise that the internet exists and so we cannot possibly find out how outrageously we’re being ripped off.

Perhaps the ministry can look into that next?

Jason
Jason
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

It goes beyond that. Land Rover (Al Fardan) refused to fit original Land Rover parts that I purchased myself from the UK / US. They will only fit them if you purchase through their scam center service center. Of course all of the local prices are inflated about 100% over the cost anywhere else. I do not think a Land Rover service center should have the right to refuse using original LR parts, regardless of the source. Kill the Qatar monopolies on these dealerships and the problems would resolve themselves.

Ms. Hala
6 years ago
Reply to  Blue

All dealerships have been audited or still going through an audit, with the initiative started by the Consumer Affairs department.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Solve this problem but letting the big multinational car companies sell their cars without needed a Qatari sponsor.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I don’t believe that’s how it works. Many car manufacturers are not into the retail marketing and sales of their cars, instead they relay on distributors to manage this on their behalf. Almost all cars in Doha have a regional distributor based in Saudi or Dubai who manage the wholesale and distribution of cars to retailers in the gulf.

Also many multinationals do want a single distributor of their vehicles in any market, especially a small market like Qatar. Even in America, you find a single distributor or all Toyota cars in a whole state with several retailers distributed across the state. Never two retailers from the same distributor in a single city.

However that happens, and it happens in Doha too. A retailer decides to buy or import cars from a different distributor. For example you can’t find nissans and Toyota selling much cheaper brand new because they’re imported from the UAE or GMCs imported from the states. The problem you will face is in servicing the car as these smaller retailers don’t have a service center or workshop.

If the state says there can be more than one Toyota dealership, this doesn’t not mean Toyota corp will want to allow a new importer in a small market, or to break exclusivity contract they have with Toyota

David
David
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

What are you talking about? Toyota has only 2 private distributors in the United States which supply approximately 220 of Toyota’s 1,200 dealerships in the US. The other 1,000 dealerships are supplied directly by Toyota. One state covered by a private distributor is Texas and in the greater Houston metro area for example there are over a dozen Toyota dealerships and most have different owners. Other than Houston some of the bigger cities covered by one of the private distributors are Dallas, San Antonio, Austin, New Orleans, Atlanta, Tampa, Miami, Orlando, and Charlotte. In all of these cities you will find multiple Toyota dealerships and almost all will have different owners.

I am from a relatively small town in the Midwest and within an hour drive of my parent’s house there are 6 different Toyota dealers and they all are owned by different people. It is much more common to find a company or “Auto Group” in city or metropolitan area that operates several different dealerships selling different brands. One dealer I bought a car from once in the DC metro area sold Hyundai, Mazda, Subaru, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi, Nissan, and Toyota through about 6 different locations around the DC metro area. Of course there were several other dealers selling those same brands across the DC metro area as well.

Myrddin
Myrddin
6 years ago

Quite honestly, car damage in delivery does happen! However, as the article suggested, an honest dealer would fess up and offer a proportional discount.

Perhaps 50% of a standard Qatari discount would more than compensate the discomfort of a minor paint repair?

Jimarchy
Jimarchy
6 years ago

Lets be honest, You are ripped off for everything here. Your warranty is worth nothing. You wait weeks for parts to arrive and then they screw you for labour charges. I’ve been screwed by a local garage and only recently found out that they have not carried out repairs they charged me a small fortune for. My advice? Don’t but anything… and if you have to buy, get a Toyota Prado… everything else you will regret!

terracotta
terracotta
6 years ago
Reply to  Jimarchy

Er, whats with Toyota Prado

Jimarchy
Jimarchy
6 years ago
Reply to  terracotta

Reliable, Cheap for parts, easy to re-sell… I have a Toyota Prado and a Range Rover… 3yrs maintenance cost? Toyota – Qar 1,500, Range Rover = Qar 45,000… Mind you, the Range Rover may be the result of the “professional service” I have received from the garage… 😉

Smile
Smile
6 years ago
Reply to  Jimarchy

lol…we don’t accept advert here Mr. Jimarchy.

Bornrich
Bornrich
6 years ago

I don’t even have a car, let alone a Nissan, and I’m ab-sol-ute-ly fuming! I demand a brand new brain with 25 years’ FREE warranty, service and chipmunks, large fries and an extra set of marshmallows (the pink ones).

Diego
Diego
6 years ago

Interesting.Then if ones causes damage to their own car by scratching the side of the compound or something simple and want to repair it,even very simple touchup work,-no business will touch it without a police report.

UKExpat
UKExpat
6 years ago

I’ve caught on to the practices of my premium service centre. Last service I was told I needed brake pads and discs, how much QR5500 ! Found LR parts in the UK for QR 1800 including Fedex! Fitting QR600. Checked directly with LR about warranty and not affected by doing it myself ! Then Alfarfetched told me I needed to change the tyres, ok how much ? QR 7056 and these will be Continentals and at special price as they now own the franchise. Head down Salwa road to the “new” Continental shop where I buy 3 and get 4 plus a QR 400 Carrefour voucher, total cost for fitting, balancing, Nitrogen – QR 5400 ! So so far saved myself QR. Did I mention who owns the franchise !!!! So saved myself QR4756. Now in these instances I don’t blame the service guys as they are just telling me what needs doing, but the mark up for the parts is out of hand. Also I needed rear wiper, don’t ask how much for original part ! but AC Delco QR31 !

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

“He claimed the vehicles were damaged during the shipping process – not in road accidents”…still is damaged! Greedy people. I am sorry for the clients

usmankv
usmankv
6 years ago

I appreciate Doha News for publishing this news. I didn’t see this news in the main stream news paper. They are afraid of advertisement revenue !

UKExpat
UKExpat
6 years ago
Reply to  usmankv

It was on the front page of The Peninsular on the 15th December.

UKExpat
UKExpat
6 years ago
Reply to  UKExpat

I think on page 2 or maybe the back page was an advert for Nissan !

usmankv
usmankv
6 years ago
Reply to  UKExpat

Nothing. You can check the archieve pdf version of 15 Dec : http://thepeninsulaqatar.com/pdf/the-peninsula-newspaper. On in the second page Nisan’s ad !

Coco
Coco
6 years ago

This is the reason why I choose euro cars…at least with these you know you’ll be robbed upfront.
I can almost hear toyota throwing a party 🙂

Omar
Omar
6 years ago

recently i sent my car for service at nissan service center i own a maxima , i was hearing weird noises from my car and after three days of checking the service center contacts me and sends a a quotation for 19,900 qr, of course i got furious and went down to check the car my self it turns out they over billed me and over charged me with parts that don’t need changing the bill went down from 19,900 to 7000 qr which is still a big amount .

nissan and all other car dealerships are nothing but con-artists , they know everyone is making money here so they want to rip everyone off , and the funny part is that they dont care once the ban is lifted they will go back to wat they usually do.

it are nothing but greedy bastards , all they want is too make more money fast .

Ms. Hala
6 years ago
Reply to  Omar

This is a huge problem in Qatar and most of the GCC because of the monopolizing of part distribution. These distributors take advantage of this monopoly and over price these parts and labor costs. If you know your car, these same original parts can be ordered online and fitted by a professional without effecting the validity of the warranty. Note that for cars purchased in Qatar, warranties are technically only valid in Qatar and the GCC for 3 years unless you purchase a warranty extension.
Nonetheless, this monopoly is absolutely unacceptable and the more the consumers speak up, the sooner something will be done about it.

Ms. Hala
6 years ago

As someone whom works in the car industry, I can tell you now that these showrooms were not shut down over minor dents and scratches. Yes cars get scratched or dented in the ship but not to such extents and customers should be aware of any of these minor repairs regardless (it’s ethics over law of the land here). Compensation for such repairs and loss to revenue is usually covered by the supplier’s shipping insurance.

If and when a car is severely damaged during shipment, it is not to be sold and the supplier’s insurance compensates the distributor based the agreed upon terms and conditions.

Hopefully this great move by MOI will put these companies in their place as well as open doors to better competition in the market.

TQabcd
TQabcd
6 years ago

Excellent article! Great to know that people are onto the dishonest practices at these dealers. I bought a new car from Nissan-Infiniti on Salwa Road and only found out much later that they had in fact painted the car before I bought it – and had never disclosed this to me! When I approached them about the paint work that I discovered, they didn’t want to own up to it; then when they did, they pushed back saying they shouldn’t compensate. Now they are saying the case is apparently “closed” from their side and they don’t want to discuss this further.

Short summary: do NOT buy from Nissan Infiniti in Doha. The sales staff will do anything to get a sale, including lie or hide the truth; and then the management will not address the core issue and compensate.

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago

They didn’t do anything wrong, did they? They just did what is common in Qatar.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago

Yeah i agree, They did nothing wrong

Car - Wiz
Car - Wiz
6 years ago

Hello,
Reading these posts make me laugh! Customer/Consumer protection? in what? this is one thing that they could catch them on! what about 1,000 other things where they steal and cheat client. If you make a claim or complain against them at dealership level, No one cares! I had Nissan Patrol Safari, my dashboard was melted by the sun. When i talked to Nissan service center it was 5,960 QAR plus labor charge. Upon researching the issue I found recall from Nissan for these dashboards.
I got recall number and I went to Nissan. The recall was dated 3 years back. I had car in service 9 times for main service in past three years prior, dealer have never done anything to inform me about recall.
After my warranty expired than they said ” We are sorry to inform you that your car is out of warranty and you have to pay for dashboard”. I told them dashboard was recalled three years ago and my car has been in service 9 times in three years, why you have not checked if my car had any recalls? they just nudge the head and say “Sorry if you want it you have to pay” than i talked to manager he said there is ” Good Will discount” which means they will use good will to lower the dashboard price to 1,700 QAR for dashboard and labor charges and if you agree you have to make appointment now to confirm which will bring me to leave the car and come in few days to collect the car.

1. They will charge people 1,700 QAR for something that they will get paid by Nissan to repair any way in which they had DUTY and obligation to inform the owner of the car of such recall.

2. The appointment in this Nissan means nothing as when you bring the car at the appointment they don’t care that you have appointment, they still have cars waiting for three to four days to get service done that take 3 hours.

3. Nissan Japan Labor charge is 3 hours for dashboard replacement, this people are taking 10 hours.

4. They call you to come and take your vehicle from Service, you arrive and than wait for them 2 hours to find your car as they are not aware where the vehicle is at.

Let’s face it Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana has nothing to do with this! The only his mistake is to keep the incompetent Management that pretends like they know something and they are waste of money and time not Only Customers time but as well as Owner’s money.
I challenge every single one from this dealership management, service and after sales to quit their jobs and let the professionals handle the job, they are not meant for this job. Just by sitting in showroom waiting until they found my car I have noticed that this behavior of management is on lower level than any garage that i have visited in my life.
Price for spare parts are ridiculously high as everybody is getting parts from Dubai and Europe or even directly from Japan. ( Where is your purchasing department? Who is doing your procurement? does anyone know what dealership is?) Everyone is aware of your stand, do you care why Nissan is number one selling car in Dubai but not in Qatar? It might seem to you like you are on wright track, but I will tell you in language that you can understand.
Find your self another job as you have no clue what customer service is! Now I drive Other car as I have sold my Nissan.
In hope that Owner of the company will read this, With half number of the staff I can run that place better with my crew than if you double their staff and let them work. I will stake my reputation on it publicly!

Best Regards
Disappointed Client

Guest
Guest
6 years ago

I am having the same problem with one of the biggest car distributor here in Qatar. I only found out after a year when I am transferring the car to a buyer. After the twice full technical inspection, the report shows that the chassis has been repaired and almost full car has been repainted. I am the only person using my car. I had only 2 minor bumper accidents ( front and rear) that broken my lights and both has been repaired by the service center itself. But obviously that accidents has nothing to do with my chassis or repainting the car. I went to them to discuss what I found out but they did not help me at all. They said maybe it has been damaged through shipping. Granting that is true but still they sold me a damaged car without informing me and without a disclaimer notice and did not even given me discount. I am very much disappointed as I am not even thinking they will do this to me. I am paying a price of a BRAND NEW car but I got a damaged one. Can someone help me what to do?

Marty
Marty
6 years ago

Has there been any amends, compensation,
apology?….anything?

Let’s say someone confirms his/her car received damage during shipping? Repair was done on a brand new car.
Can someone share their experience…what happened?

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