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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Qatar authorities shut main Honda showroom for ‘commercial fraud’

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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.

Other closures

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.

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.

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.

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 info@mec.gov.qa.

Thoughts?

34 COMMENTS

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Anonymous
Anonymous
6 years ago

Well done MEC.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

Haha the poor marketing guy is unavailable to answer! I don’t want to be in his place honestly.

Scarletti
Scarletti
6 years ago

here is the problem with closed sponsorships- no competition = no ability to walk elsewhere !

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

Good job CPA…

Expat77
Expat77
6 years ago

Happens when monopoly exists…Congrats to MEC for putting it’s foot down on such deceptions and fraud by car dealers! Open up the field to many players..then things shall improve..

terracotta
terracotta
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat77

doesnt matter whether there is monopoly or competition, fraud sill happens.

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?

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Jamal Al-Yafei
Jamal Al-Yafei
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

contact CPA , they will be able to assist

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Contact CPA… You can also sue.. But I don’t recommend as it will be a very long and dragged out process

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

You have been screwed, no doubt. But don’t worry, it happens all the time. You are not alone. What you could do is send the facts to Honda in Japan. Maybe they are willing to remove the agency from Domasco.

Jason Statham
Jason Statham
6 years ago

No point in sending the facts to Japan if the vehicle is not Japanese as i see nowhere does his comment say it is a Honda, he just says “one of the biggest car distributor here in Qatar”
Distorted facts are what create so many negative comments.

Guytotop
Guytotop
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Please report to consumer protection Dept. QatAr..Since you realised that your car was repaired and informed them on same time and they did not listen and help you, You should be getting some compensation for cheating..

You should have complained earlier..

So go and complain as soon as possible..

Em
Em
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

A chassis repair would take a lot more than a bump during shipment, it’s major. A damaged chassis damages the structural integrity of the car and, even repaired, influences the safety of the car (and kills the value). Absolutely contact Consumer Protection as well as the manufacturer. I had major repairs (costing me more than 21,000QR and taking several months) that were required entirely because of incompetence of the Mini/BMW service center. After reporting to Consumer Protection and Mini Middle East, nearly every riyal was refunded to me between the two working together. It wasn’t an instantaneous process, but it was (rather surprisingly) quite painless over all. I HIGHLY recommend it. Good luck! So sorry for your horrible experience.

KingOfKings
6 years ago
Reply to  Guest

Contact the headquarters with facts and pictures and they will make things right with you. If not, pay someone 1000 riyal to flood your story on 300 online forums and watch them beg you to take them out for a free brand new car…

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
6 years ago

After seeing the other dealers get into trouble last month, this dealer decided to keep his accident prone new cars on the floor??? How stupid can you be?

Expat77
Expat77
6 years ago

The reporting on this topic is ambiguous. They are new cars but with damages in transport which probably was painted or repaired. N sold without customer being informed. Should be treated as business fraud as mentioned in DN

Osama Alassiry AlMaadeed
Reply to  Expat77

You buy a car, no accidents happen, you try to sell it, the buyer requests a check….

“This car was repaired and painted”.

azwar yusoff
azwar yusoff
6 years ago

jail the culprits

yesjay
yesjay
6 years ago

“Customers are required to sign a form understanding that they know work had been done on the vehicles before purchasing them.” isn’t then better to sale it as second handed car rather than buying from the showroom as “Brand New” ? Wonder how many more brands, suit to follow…sooner or later!! Anyway MEC move is to be appreciated, though late, but better than never.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

Who but your close friends to trust in Doha? Tricky question.

kdineshl
kdineshl
6 years ago

a friend told me that Domasco is owned by Saleh al hamad al mana, is that true?

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  kdineshl

Al futtaim of UAE

Observant One
Observant One
6 years ago

Who owns the company?
“Al futtaim of UAE” says a_qtr
I fully support the action of the authorities…would it have happened if the company was Qatari? Or is it still majority owned by Qataris? I hope so because that will finally show that the law is applied to locals as well as expats? Anyone know?

Osama Alassiry AlMaadeed
Reply to  Observant One

It’s the same, they must have Qatari partners… The other companies (Dodge/Ford) were owned by Qataris…

Daniel Schriefer
Daniel Schriefer
6 years ago

I guess Ford, Dodge, Nissan, and Chrysler, including Jeep are still owned by Al Mana.

Blue
Blue
6 years ago

Well the can of worms has opened – guess the other dealers better keep their paperwork ready unless they have wasta.

On the other hand I love Domasco as a dealer, their post delivery service and offers have been excellent – wouldn’t hesistate to buy a honda or Volvo.

٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶
6 years ago

I assume it has been verified by the relevant authorities that these vehicles were indeed damaged in transit rather than being acquired knowingly damaged by the dealerships and passed on to unwitting consumers as new……?

Mohammed G.A
Mohammed G.A
6 years ago

good job

DJ25Q
DJ25Q
6 years ago

Great job, and a good lesson for dealers who are insisting to cheat customers. however, how will this action stop dealers from cheating again, once their showrooms are open?
Who will control importing vehicles that lack basic safety features while selling for a hefty price tag?
there are still cars in the market, sold as fully loaded ( top tier options ) when it only has 2 front airbags and probably ABS ( sometimes not ). Such cars are not permitted in EU and US and sold everywhere else.

greylag
greylag
6 years ago

Honda is a quality brand who will not like to have negative publicity like this. Write to the UAE Regional office, with copy to Honda in Japan. Should be able to find their addresses on their website. Make your case as public as possible.

KingOfKings
6 years ago

I remember Audi also had that same issue before they took the dealership from Buzwair brothers.

Jason Statham
Jason Statham
6 years ago

What amazes me are the people who are so quick to make a comment about fraudulent dealers and that this kind of thing would not happen in another country.

As a person who has worked in the motor industry for many years I can tell you that nothing that is happening in Qatar with the different dealers is any different to what happens the world over.

In Europe cars are parked in compounds for weeks and months waiting to be transported by road to dealers where inevitably they recieve some scratches and or minor dents that are repaired by the dealer prior to sale.

In Europe specialist mobile dent and scratch repairers are working 7 days a week for the various dealers making on the spot repairs to sold cars when they arrive.

Check out this website it shows this company is now a worldwide specialist repair company :www.chipsaway.com

Are we likely to recieve any proof that these dealers are selling “Accident Damaged” cars to the public i doubt it and also what are the ministry actually claiming is “Accident Damage”?
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 scrath or dent that happened because somebody opened the door a little too wide in a confined space.

mo_ala
mo_ala
6 years ago

I heard the news that it was just very small scratch that might happened during shipping to qatar and was not any accident at all. That happens everywhere with all dealer. Not big at all.

Name
Name
6 years ago

I agree that fraudulent behaviour needs to be stopped and the exclusive dealership approach in the region doesn’t help healthy competition, but it is absolutely normal that cars which are loaded and offloaded on a RoRo vessel carry away some minor transport damages. This is why these vehicles are insured and the dealer is responsible to take care of those small dents and scratches – this work is then covered by insurances. However, this does not make it a used car and the warranty is still covering all manufacturer defects. These regulations and practices will only lead to manufacturers and dealers building provisions and thus making the cars more expensive.

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