In The News
Vehicle sale and transfer will soon be done online to eradicate car scams
LTA's fast and secure online process from July is expected to cut down to car scams
Car buyers will soon have to go online to complete the sales transaction and vehicle transfer - a move that is expected to eradicate car scams.
They can do so as early as July, by logging into the Land Transport Authority's (LTA) vehicle-related digital platforms using their SingPass or CorpPass accounts.
In a two-step authentication process, the buyer can ensure the vehicle is transferred to his name by electronically accepting the transfer.
The new method will be faster and save manpower cost, the LTA told The Straits Times.
But more importantly, it will eradicate scams that have hit motorists periodically.
In these scams, the seller does not transfer the car to the buyer after receiving payment, or even after the buyer has collected the car. The usual reason is that the seller has not paid the financier, who has legal right to the car.
As a result, the buyer faces the rude shock of having the car repossessed.
The new secure and seamless access also offers vehicle owners "the flexibility to perform a range of vehicle-related transactions online, any time and anywhere", an LTA spokesman added.
Currently, car dealers send people to LTA's Sin Ming office to wait in line for various transactions, including vehicle transfers, to be processed by counter staff. This can take hours as there are usually long queues, dealers said.
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Used-cars: Older than they seem
Used-car buyers must double-check mileage clocked if they do not want to be taken for a ride
Buying a used car? Besides kicking the tyres and checking to see if it is mechanically sound, you should also scrutinise the odometer, which records the distance clocked by the vehicle.
If the figure looks suspicious, it is best to check back with the authorised dealer who serviced the car last. What does a suspicious figure look like? Well, the average mileage clocked by a privately owned car here is about 17,000km a year. So, the mileage of a five-year-old family car should not deviate too far from 85,000km.
A car previously owned by a private-hire, rental or limousine service company can clock up to six times the average mileage of a family car.
If a low-mileage car looks too good to be true, it often is. Company director Y.C. Kua, 41, found that out the hard way.
He bought a 2012 Volkswagen Touareg sport utility vehicle in March. It was advertised as having a mileage of 65,000km - about half the average distance clocked by cars its age.
Mr Kua did not think much of it, until he sent the car to Volkswagen Centre Singapore for glitches which surfaced a few days after he drove it home. It was there that he found out the car was last serviced at about 154,000km.
Shocked, he investigated further, and discovered that when his dealer previously purchased the vehicle from another dealer, it was recorded as having an odometer reading of 165,000km - 2½ times its advertised mileage.
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Case blacklists car importer SG Vehicles for second time
Watchdog says SG Vehicles is only motor firm to be flagged twice; it drew 'high volume' of complaints.
SG Vehicles is the first and only motor company to be blackmarked twice by the consumer watchdog, Case said.
Case told The Straits Times that SG Vehicles had chalked up a "high volume" of complaints from consumers pertaining to "misleading claims, false claims and defective goods".
There were 39 complaints against the company last year, up from 36 in 2015. There were nine complaints in the first five months of this year.
Case said the company also operated under names like SG Vehicles Asia, SG Vehicles Continental and SG Vehicles Global.
The company, which operates out of Bukit Merah, was started in 1984, and is run by married couple Mark and Juliet Poh.
Case first flagged the company for unfair practices last year.
Common complaints were about late delivery of vehicles, persistently unsuccessful bidding for certificates of entitlement, and buyers being told to pay more for their cars after sales agreements had been signed.
"Case offered SG Vehicles the opportunity to respond to the consumers' feedback," its spokesman said. "However, SG Vehicles failed to substantively respond by the stipulated time."
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Firm faces court case over undelivered car
A consumer is taking parallel importer SG Vehicles Global to court over a car he ordered a year ago, which has yet to be delivered.
Mr Mohamed Anwardeen, 35, placed a $2,000 cash deposit for a $105,000 Honda Vezel with the firm in June last year.
Over the next several weeks, Mr Mohamed, a civil servant, was asked by SG Vehicles Global salesman Sivassankar Gunasegaran, also called Shankar, to top up the deposit. He paid $8,000 by credit card and again $10,000 in cash. The last payment was in October, and was made at SG Vehicles Global's office in Bukit Merah, whereupon a receipt was issued. But in February this year, Shankar told the buyer he had absconded with the $10,000, and had surrendered himself to the police. He was charged and is due in court on July 15.
SG Vehicles Global then asked Mr Mohamed for another $10,000 to make good the money that its employee had run away with, if he still wanted the car.
Mr Mohamed refused.
" COMPANY IS ACCOUNTABLE
The salesperson collected the monies from the consumer at the company's office and issued a receipt to the consumer in the course of his employment. As a result, the company, as principal, could be liable to the consumer for acts committed by its agent. The company should not therefore attempt to absolve itself from all liabilities.
CASE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR LOY YORK JIUN"
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