‘Lemon Car’ – Part 2

THE Toyota Avanza car, which aspiring taxicab entrepreneur Bobby Monsod had acquired in April, 2007, does not only show signs of being what could be described a “lemon car.” Bobby believes that what Toyota Philippines had sold him is an inferior car, which is essentially the same as the cheaper but inferior Daihatsu Xenia, units of which are being sold at about a quarter of a million pesos in Malaysia.

Did Toyota Philippines engage in deception, which is punishable under the Consumer Act? Did its manufacturer commit any violation of the law when it sold him a car, which is basically the same as what is being sold in another brand in another country?

This is really a problem, which the Department of Trade and Industry could not readily answer as the arbiter of Monsod’s complaint against Toyota Phils.  From all indications, Bobby has to elevate this issue in a regular court, prove his suspicion, and ask the manufacturer for a replacement for his car that has conked out in after three years plus damages.

The mere mediation of his case by DTI would not be enough; DTI could only do so much. By all means, Toyota Philippines would stick to their version that it is not in the business of selling defective cars even if these cars conk out in the middle of the roads after a year or two.

But Bobby has all the reason to elevate it to a court of law. After doing an assiduous research of the nature of Toyota cars which are being sold in the ASEAN region, he could not help but marvel at Toyota Avanza’s similarity to Daihatsu Xenia. Nothing wrong with it except that he bought his Toyota Avanza unit at a whopping price of P670,000, while a Daihatsu Xenia unit could be acquired at an equivalent of P250,000. This is what he found out to be extremely revolting.

Toyota Philippines cannot just ignore Bobby’s plea to replace it with a new unit. Otherwise, it will destroy its reputation of excellence and dependability, which it has sought to establish in this country for decades. All the goodwill and trust in the Toyota brand will just disappear overnight.

It has to rethink its business ways in our country.


For comments, reactions and suggestions… kindly keep it to yourselves. Dick Sinchongco

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