All photos courtesy of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce on Twitter
Domasco Honda’s main showroom at TV Roundabout has been closed for a month for apparently violating Qatar’s consumer protection law, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) has announced.
In a statement, the ministry said that the dealer had been selling some of its imported Japanese cars involved in accidents as brand-new after repairing them.
This violates Article 7 of Law No. 8 of 2008, which obligates suppliers to provide information on the type, nature and components of a product on its label. According to the law, suppliers are also prohibited from describing, advertising or displaying products using false or deceptive information.
Inspectors apparently found many of these vehicles in the main Domasco showroom to be repaired and on sale as new cars after receiving several customer complaints.
Honda’s marketing manager was not immediately available for comment, and its main office in Dubai is closed for New Year’s.
The showroom’s closure comes two weeks after government inspectors shuttered two other vehicle showrooms here for allegedly misleading customers by selling cars that had been damaged and repaired as new.
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, received the same one-month closure penalty.
The closures have rattled public trust in local dealerships, with many residents saying they felt let down by the news and in need of more information.
— Eranga Indunil (@erangaindunil) January 1, 2015
However, speaking to Doha News, some in the auto industry have said the transgressions may not be as serious as they sound.
Last month, a person with knowledge of the government inspections said that scratches and dents often occur during marine transport of the vehicles, and then are repaired by the dealerships upon delivery.
Customers are required to sign a form understanding that they know work had been done on the vehicles before purchasing them. In some cases last month, the paperwork signed by customers was not produced to the government when asked.
But it is unclear if this is the case with Domasco Honda.
Meanwhile, the company’s other showroom on Al Sadd St. and its service centers remain open.
To file complaints about suspected breaches in the consumer protection law, residents can call the MEC at 8005000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.