By Ahmed Amer
Tanta’s economic court has issued a verdict in absentia against the legal representative of Abou Ghali Automotive Car Company.
The company has been fined EGP 50,000 and asked to pay EGP 30,000 as temporary civil compensation for the complainant, asking the company to publish the verdict in two widespread daily newspapers, as well as expenses.
The ruling was issued against the company’s chairman for failing to implement the decision of the Board of the Consumer Protection Agency to replace a defective car in favour of a consumer.
Mustafa Abu Ghali, Chairman of Abou Ghali Automotive, told Daily News Egypt that he will appeal to the economic court against this verdict, adding that the case is still not final.
Head of the Consumer Protection Agency Atef Yacoub noted the verdict arose from a complaint received by the consumer protection device. The complainant claimed they had purchased a 2012 model Maple car, but found defects in transmission and high engine temperature. Despite filing a complaint with the company, he faced major delays in solving the problem.
Yacoub said the car agency proceeded with investigating the complaint, and then referred it to a technical car committee of the Agency. The car was sent to the Engineering Consultation Centre at Ain Shams University’s Faculty of Engineering for testing and determination of defects.
The Faculty of Engineering’s report showed traces of paint and rust treatment, several doors needing adjustment, and that the car sometimes jolts. The report concluded that the car showed signs of poor storage.
Yacoub said that, according to Article 8 of the Consumer Protection Law 67/2006, without violation of any guarantees or legal conditions or agreements, a consumer can retrieve or replace the commodity within 14 days of the date of receipt. This is in case it had any fault or was not compatible with the specifications or the purpose of its agreed-upon use in the agreement. The complaint was presented to the board of directors, and they decided to oblige the company to exchange the car with another new one. In case the company refused to exchange the car, it will take back the car and return the value to the consumer within two weeks.
Yacoub continued, saying that in the case that the company does not comply with the Consumer Protection Agency within the determined time, a complaint would be sent to the Public Prosecution, and onto the Economic Court.
In a November 2014 hearing, the court issued its sentence in absentia with an EGP 50,000 fine and EGP 30,000 payment as temporary compensation for the complainant for the company’s breach of the Consumer Protection Act.
Yacoub stressed all legal procedures were taken against the company after it failed in repairing the complainant’s car more than once and submitted false date to the Agency regarding the nature of the repair.
Yaqoob said the sentence is a strong deterrent against companies that are not abiding by the Consumer Protection Law and the decisions of the Board of Directors of the Consumer Protection Agency. He called on companies, traders and agents to commit to solve customers’ complaints as per the law.
He added that the agency is keen on amicably settling issues quickly and protecting customer rights, adding that many companies, traders and providers abide by this. He added that the Authority does not hesitate in taking any legal actions in case the companies do not agree to resolve the problem.