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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Honda: Undisclosed scratches, dents behind forced dealership closure

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Photos via MEC

More than a week after its main showroom was closed by government inspectors in Qatar for commercial fraud, Domasco Honda has admitted that it performed “very minor repairs” on vehicles that were then sold to unknowing customers.

The dealership was one of three local auto company showrooms that were recently closed for apparently selling new cars to customers without telling them they had been repaired before sale.

In a statement, Domasco Honda said it had fixed scratches and dents incurred in its stock yard on several vehicles without informing the buyers.

It said 11 customers were affected, all of whom have been contacted and had their concerns and issues “fully resolved.”

The dealership added the incidents occurred “due to lapses in our internal process” and that it had “initiated remedial action” to ensure it fully complied with local regulations when it re-opens at the end of this month.

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.

On Dec. 31, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce shut down Domasco Honda’s main showroom at TV Roundabout after alleging that the dealer had been selling some of its imported Japanese cars involved in accidents as brand-new after repairing them.

It was the third dealership to be shuttered by the ministry in a span of less than three weeks.

In mid-December, authorities made similar fraud allegations against 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.

While many residents applauded the ministry’s crackdown in defense of consumers, others questioned whether it was accurate to suggest that the vehicles had been involved in an “accident.”

One commentator on Doha News said:

“For me, I see the word “accident” and imagine a car at the side of the road that has been hit by another car – not a small scratch or dent that happened because somebody opened the door a little too wide in a confined space.”

However, authorities appear to be planning on keeping up their pressure. The Peninsula reported that the consumer protection department is expected to “continue and widen its campaign” against “unethical” auto dealers.

Wider crackdown?

Inspectors with the Ministry of Economy and Consumer Affairs, as well as Baladiya – the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP) – have recently started to publicize raids and regulatory sanctions against businesses on a near-weekly basis.

Source: Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics
Source: Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics

There’s been no formal announcement of a stepped-up campaign. However, consumer-related violations cited by municipalities and published by the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics appear to be rising.

The number of violations related to beauty salons, hygiene and food climbed from a low of 415 in March – the first month figures were disclosed – to 1,652 in November.

Last February, stricter penalties were introduced for restaurants and food outlets caught breaching safety regulations. The MMUP has since shut down scores of eateries, typically publishing photos of the violations.

Meanwhile, in other business sectors, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce has penalized auto service centers as well as retailers offering misleading promotions in recent months.

Thoughts?

20 COMMENTS

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Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
6 years ago

Any idea how we can find out if anyone actually wins the cars that Megamart raffles off? It seems they raffle off two Mercedes every 6 months, yet there is never an announcement of who won. I notice Lulus puts something in the paper, and the other Hypermarkets also advertise, but Megamart never does. Just curious…

sicti
sicti
6 years ago

Trying to figure out the same thing. Internet is a mystery for MegaMart :)))

Ali
Ali
6 years ago

Yes, MEC should look into this.

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago

One person involved in Event Management told me that before the draw all duplicate names are removed from the raffle box. The argument is that they don’t want one person to win two Mercedes. I don’t know if that’s true, but everything is possible in Qatar.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

Then why give me 1 entry for every QR 50 I spend? The simplest method would be once you win you can’t win the other. I don’t trust these things at all. As is everything here the absence of transparency is rampant even in something so simple.

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
6 years ago

First, that would be rigging the system because they give you a coupon for every 50qr, so that would land them in deep doo-doo if they simply tossed entries. Also, could you imagine what kind of job that would be? Going through thousands of entries and tossing the duplicates? I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago

I also doubted this, Chipper, but the person insisted that it was how they do it.

Althani
Althani
6 years ago

Stop making up stuff pls

CeePeeEm
CeePeeEm
6 years ago

I am just curious to know what technology they use to do the sorting in order to find out duplicate names in the raffle box. Am pretty sure the person who told you this was pulling a fast one on you and it simply defies common sense.

Doc
Doc
6 years ago

Yes they win. I often buy the winners cars from them.

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
6 years ago
Reply to  Doc

From Megamart?

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

Chipper don’t mind everything being said below. No business in Qatar can run a raffle without the prior approval of the MEC. MEC then locks the raffle box and even pastes rubber on the lock to ensure it has not been tampered with. On he day of the draw an MEC has to be present to witness the draw and ensure no foul play

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago

I guess they should be closed, too.

CeePeeEm
CeePeeEm
6 years ago

If you seriously have a complaint, you can very well do that with MEC.The steps to make a complaint are documented in MEC website, at the following link.
http://www.mec.gov.qa/English/Consumer/Pages/HowToComplain.aspx
Also available are direct links to COMPLAINTS from MEC_Qatar apps in the mobile versions in Android and iOS.

Expat77
Expat77
6 years ago

I congratulate the authorities for ongoing crack down on unethical business practices. If a dozen malls and car dealers indulge in this, imagine the thousands of businesses who commit labour law violations on their employees!

Not Drinking The Cool-Aid
Not Drinking The Cool-Aid
6 years ago

Great job, this is the sort consumer protection that has needed for such a long time. I really hope this type of law enforcement is expanded

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago

as every pack of biscuits you buy here is broken, how do you expect cars to arrive without minor damage – stinks of a vendetta against the company – many new cars get cosmetic transit damaged repaired before they are sold

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
6 years ago
Reply to  Scarletti

True, but I think the issue is that the dealership did not tell disclose that touch-ups have been done, which they are supposed to.

Mehrea
6 years ago

Good news. Wish if they could check all the promotions in malls specially ” buy one and get one free.”

Guest
Guest
6 years ago

I am having the same problem with one of the biggest vehicle 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 from their service center. But obviously that accidents has nothing to do with my chassis or repainting the car. I went to that vehicle distributor and discuss with them what I have found out but they did not help me at all. They said maybe it has been damaged through shipping…etc. Granting that is true but still they sold me a damaged car without informing me the real condition of the car. 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? I have filed a complain but it was just ignored as they told me I already had 2 accidents. Yes, I admit I had 2 minor accidents in my front and rear bumper but it is very clear that accidents has nothing to do with the chassis or repainting the full car. If they will investigate they will know that I am telling the truth.

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