What is wrong with the advertised car?
Anyone who buys a new car at the car showroom always thinks: “I will drive out the warranty period without any problems”. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Onliner.by reader Aksana purchased a Geely Atlas: good credit, positive reviews, presentable appearance - her husband supported this choice. And at first everything was in order, until someone drew the attention of the spouses to the fact that the elements of the body are different in color. Then the whole story started.
New Atlas. What about painting?
- We bought our Geely Atlas in the Geely Center Minsk in Tsimirazeu Street in May 2018. Everything seemed fine, but after a couple of months people started asking strange questions, like, have you already repainted the car? At first, none of us thought it was important, but the husband nevertheless drove up to the specialists. They confirmed that there were spots on the entire car: lighter areas on the paintwork and darker ones. It was suggested that initially the primer was poorly laid on the elements, on which the paint was later applied,” says Aksana.
The couple went to the dealer and wrote a complaint about the condition of the car’s paintwork.
- The car showroom staff photographed the car from all angles, and then promised to give an answer in due course. After one and a half to two months, without waiting for any feedback, we called them ourselves. The dealer said that the plant does not refuse from its obligations and is ready to eliminate defects, though first we must again provide photos of the paintwork.
The procedure was delayed, late autumn came. Aksana explained that spots on the car body were visible in bright sunlight. To make high-quality photos for the plant, the family decided to postpone everything until spring.
In April, everything repeated: photographs, visits to the dealer. There was even a meeting with representatives of the plant: they studied the condition of the vehicle, checked the coating with a thickness gauge.
- In the end, the experts came to the conclusion that the car is really poorly painted, several elements need to be repainted, including four doors, the hood and the roof. We deliberately specified whether they would be able to match with the body color in order to avoid visible differences, and asked if it wasn’t easier to repaint the whole car in such a situation. However, we were assured these worries were in vain, everything would be fine, color to color. Okay, we gave our Atlas back for repainting.
Important to note, this problem is not unique. Recently, we wrote about a similar case with another Geely Atlas, and, as it turned out, almost any dealer can have a new car with repainted body elements on sale - no one is safe from this. The question is how everything is resolved with the client.
Repainting did not help
For the duration of the work, the dealer provided Aksana with a replacement car: first Emgrand, then Atlas. Two weeks later, the woman got a call and was informed that her car was ready so she could pick it up.
- We came to the dealer and were in shock: the exterior elements of plastic were stained with polish, and it was obviously impossible to wash it. At the same time, the painted body elements were not polished, the moldings did not fit tight. The door trim was scratched: apparently, when it was removed, they tucked it hard with something. And most importantly: the color of the repainted elements did not match the color of the body - this was noticeable to the naked eye.
The couple did not pick up the car, but instead wrote a complaint about the quality of the work performed.
- The dealer agreed with us, even at first he offered to fix everything on the same day. It was Friday. We replied that there was no need to rush anywhere, we would arrive on Monday. There seemed to be enough time to fix everything. On Monday morning we got a call: “Come, pick the car up”. We arrived, and were asked to wait until the car is finally ready. We waited for two hours: I think that before our arrival no one had dealt with the car. But even after that, nothing was fixed. You know, at that moment we were about to freak out. We left a note in the book of complaints and suggestions, went to the director, explained the situation to him. He promised to take everything under personal control and settle it soon.
From the employees of the car showroom, the car owner learned that the contractor was engaged in the painting work. That is, the dealer in this situation was actually an intermediary, trying to resolve the issue with the party that directly performed the work, and the client who demanded the return of the car in proper condition. However, it is the dealer who has contractual obligations to the client, and is responsible to them.
Search for a compromise
- Some kind of a helter-skelter started. First they called us saying that all the shortcomings had been eliminated, the car could be picked up. Then they called back: “Sorry, we just brought a car - nothing has been done. Do not come yet. ” And we have tickets, we need to fly on vacation. We were not given a replacement car at this time, I had to pick up my Atlas to go to the airport. We agreed with the dealer that when we return from vacation, we will drive a car to fix the defect.
Aksana said that on July 5, she left another complaint in the book of comments and suggestions, and in the act of completion she indicated all her claims.
- First of all, when I returned from vacation, I turned to a lawyer and with his help made a pre-trial complaint, which I sent to the dealer. I received an answer with an apology, the dealer offered free maintenance as a compensation. But I’m already scared to contact the specialists of this company (taking into account how they have shown themselves). It’s no difference to me whether it’s them, or the contractor to blame. I didn’t buy a car to deal with the problems that arose with it for six months.
A new claim was sent, in which the owner of the car indicated the requirement: replace the Geely Atlas with a car of the same model of good quality.
- We were invited to the dealer, we talked. They refused to replace the car, indicating that the court would also not satisfy our requirements. Okay. I agree that all the details that were damaged in the car should be changed, plus a fine must be paid for poorly performed work - 5 thousand rubles, that is, about 10% of the cost of this Atlas. I am not trying to cash in on the problem, but I want to compensate for my losses in the event of a car sale. The car was poorly painted from the very beginning, and when it was repainted, it got worse. It is seen that the elements are not painted color by color, the shades do not match. A specialist, and just an attentive person will notice this. What will I tell the buyer? That the dealer tried to fix the factory’s bug this way? And who will want to mess with this? In any case, the car lost in its market price and it is not our fault.
Aksana is ready to sue the dealer.
- The negotiations have been delayed. They told me that they agreed to replace the plastic, and as for the color of the elements, the dealer is filing the documents for the examination. Moreover, as I was told, if the examination shows that the quality of the paint is satisfactory, then I will be charged in court with the costs of the examination, and other expenses.
- We drove an old car, bought a new one with a loan, not because we wanted to have more problems with car maintenance. In any case, a new car is a new car, as it seemed to us. But it turned out that we bought a car, we are obliged to pay a loan, and the new car has already been repainted, and with defects. I just did not expect such an attitude. When we went to the dealer for the first time, it seemed to me that everything would be perfect. And the husband said: “I feel that there will be problems”.
How does the other side evaluate the current situation, and what way out does it see? Onliner turned to the dealer, Motor AvtoGrad LLC, for a comment.
- We want to note that Motor AvtoGrad LLC has already apologized to Mrs. Aksana for the situation as part of the gratuitous elimination of deficiencies in her car, and we apologize again,” said Dzmitry Butko, deputy director of the service at Geely Center Minsk.
The dealer recognizes the problem with damaged plastic.
- Unfortunately, during the service repair under warranty, the plastic elements of the car were stained with polish. Representatives of Motor AvtoGrad LLC were ready to eliminate this shortcoming, on which we notified Mrs. Aksana in the written form. Considering the inconvenience, we offered to carry out the subsequent car maintenance for free,” noted Motor AvtoGrad LLC. - Geely Center Minsk takes care of its customers, therefore, for the period of work, although this is not provided for by applicable law, Mrs. Aksana was provided with replacement cars. After the meeting of Mrs. Aksana with the management (in the framework of the pre-trial settlement of the dispute), we confirmed that we were ready to eliminate the shortcomings caused to the elements of the car due to repair, free of charge.
As for claims related to the different tone of the repainted elements and the rest of the body, the dealer suggests waiting for the expert opinion.
- On the issue of the so-called heterogeneity after repainting the elements of the car body, we intend to conduct an examination. A letter with relevant questions has already been sent to the State Committee of Forensic Expertise,” said Dzmitry Butko.
Both sides are waiting for the results of the examination, on which, no doubt, a lot depends in this story. But there are many cases like the one described. Can a car owner expect that when repainting individual elements of the body it will be possible to match color to color, or is it easier to adopt a simpler attitude to such things, and not to look for perfection where it cannot be? With these questions, we turned to an experienced auto paint specialist.
- There are various techniques for performing such work, which depend on the degree of difficulty in selecting the tone. It’s harder to match with some elements, easier with others. But very often, when painting is carried out like this, toe-to-toe, the human eye even without
the use of special appliances is able to find differences. A simple example: even if one of the elements is simply covered with varnish, the difference will already be noticeable.
- It turns out that it’s impossible to perfectly match the tone?
- It's a difficult task anyway. The question is technology. Many use special techniques to smooth out a possible difference. For example, the base paint is also sprayed onto an adjacent element, then varnished - then the repair area remains invisible.
- Is silver a difficult color for such work?
- Of course, silver metallic is one of the most difficult to get from one joint to another when working. But the painters in large services have a sufficient number of sample cards. However, even with their capabilities and experience, sometimes it’s necessary to make a few clarifications in order to ultimately satisfy the client.
- Isn't it easier to repaint the whole car? Then there will be no questions.
- I doubt, honestly, that someone will repaint the car because of several elements. In each case, the decision is made by the responsible party, these are all internal affairs.
- What to do with plastic elements damaged during the work? How could this happen?
- This is not entirely clear to me. Still, usually at dealers and large companies, such work is carried out by good specialists who know their job. Of course, all plastic elements are removed before painting, this applies to door handles, and everything else. The moldings are cut, and after the end of work they are glued again. In some cases, when only the bottom of the door is painted, it is permissible to cover up the molding, but this, again, related to individual cases. I think that in this particular case, something was done wrong, and, apparently, the dealer acknowledges this.